Voices

You will look in vain for an ode to broccoli. And that is because broccoli is rubbish

Review: Shire, By Ali Smith, with images by Sarah Wood

Bewitching, at least three times over

The Leisure Society, Alone Aboard the Ark (Full Time Hobby)

Album review: The Leisure Society, Alone Aboard the Ark (Full Time Hobby)

The Leisure Society's third album is a quintessential curate's egg, with plenty of earnest folk-rock strummage, and a few brilliant highlights distracting from several songs as weak as their punning titles, notably “Life Is a Cabriolet” and “One Man and His Fug”.

Jarvis Cocker, Lionel Shriver and Claire Tomalin to headline Southbank's London Literature Festival

Jarvis Cocker might seem an unlikely contender to headline a literature festival, but it seems the former Pulp frontman really does have a thirst for knowledge.

Let's turn the page on inappropriate book covers

In the last fortnight Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar' and 'Anne of Green Gables' have had their covers sexed-up to try and appeal to new audiences

Splendid isolation in Yorkshire: A creative writing course in the shadow of Sylvia Plath

Last June when I arrived at Lumb Bank, a forbidding granite farmhouse above Hebden Bridge, the house manager Becky didn't take my luggage, but she did take a weight off my shoulders: "There's no television, radio or internet connection here," she mentioned breezily as she showed me to a small, sparse bedroom. It struck me then that a holiday might be as simple as removing the white noise of everyday life for a while. And that, I thought guiltily, includes my two small children whom I had left with my wife. But guilt passes. And in my case, quickly.

The Bell Jar

'An insult to women everywhere' - Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar gets a 'chick lit' makeover

Publisher Faber is facing a serious backlash from disgruntled readers

Dame Margaret Drabble deposits archive at Cambridge University Library

Dame Margaret Drabble has deposited 90 boxes of papers, including original drafts of her novels and letters to fellow writers including Ted Hughes and Harold Pinter, at the Cambridge University Library.

Prom 21: Aldeburgh WO/Elder, ***; Prom 22: Keith/BBC Phil/Noseda, ****

Formed in Aldeburgh only a few weeks ago, and drawing in musicians from four continents, the Aldeburgh World Orchestra is the newest youth band to grace the Proms, and under Mark Elder’s direction it gave a noble account of Britten’s "Sinfonia da Requiem".

Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (11/03/12)

Rant

Killer bees and vintage bonnets

Independent Bath Literary Festival

Fretwork/Wilkinson/Courtenay, Kings Place, London

Winter solstice: the longest, darkest night of the year. How better to spend it than with a top soprano, a theatrical knight, and six viols, and where better than in the soft blue gloom of Kings Place? All came with promising baggage: the Fretwork ensemble had just released a remarkable viol-arrangement of Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'; Clare Wilkinson had dazzled us a few days previously with her a cappella exploits with I Fagiolini; and Sir Tom Courtenay – well, we knew where he was coming from. Fretwork would provide instrumental music, Courtenay would give us poems.

Unseen Sylvia Plath drawings go on show

A collection of 44 drawings by the poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) never previously exhibited in this country go on show at the Mayor Gallery in London tomorrow. The sketches were given to Plath's daughter, the artist Frieda Hughes, by her poet father and Plath's former husband Ted before he died.

Tweet nothings: Readers reveal their worst dates

On Tuesday night Rhodri Marsden tweeted about a terrible date in 2002. It led to hundreds of his 15,000 Twitter followers sharing theirs online. Here are some of the best @ replies

Katy Guest: Mumsnetters have a code, and they are not alone, BTW

Look away now, all of you who thought that SMOG was an acronym for a society of geeks called the Secret Masters of Gaming.

Woman who helped launch Larkin dies

Jean Hartley, the Yorkshire housewife who discovered the poems of Philip Larkin, has died aged 78.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor