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.
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
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.
Publisher Faber is facing a serious backlash from disgruntled readers
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
As Beat fans await the new Allen Ginsberg biopic, Kevin Jackson recites an elegy for the tragic history of poetry on film
Last Letter has been revealed, but is it what he would have wanted
Ted Hughes's poem "Last Letter", newly discovered in the British Library, is a shattering piece of work. Not because it's the first piece of writing in which he addressed the circumstances of Sylvia Plath's suicide. Not because it tracks through the last three days of her unhappy life on earth. Not even because it's a great poem, although it has moments of Parnassian brilliance. What makes it an emotionally draining experience is the tension it embodies, between what the angry, distraught, bewildered husband Ted Hughes wants to say about his wife's final hours, and what the cool, judicious, focused poet Ted Hughes will allow himself to say about them for posterity. Wordsworth said poetry was "emotion recollected in tranquillity". I don't believe I've ever read a poem in which emotion was so obviously recollected in anguish and turmoil, barely contained by the formal requirements of line, sense and rhythm.
Rare interviews with tragic couple give insight into early days of their marriage
Former Poet Laureate is to be commemorated alongside Chaucer and Shakespeare
For an indication of the health of British poetry, says Lemn Sissay, look no further than the strength of the entries to young people's competitions. "They're the momentum in a movement," he says – the force against a "competitive note" that has entered the contemporary poetry scene. The 42-year-old performance poet has just completed a week teaching the 15 winners of last year's Foyle Young Poets Award, which drew a record 14,000 entries from all over the world – and, by his reckoning, the future of the art form is very bright indeed.
After an age of irony, love poetry for adults has returned. And often it takes the form of the elegy.
Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez may have strummed their way through the golden age of the peaceniks, preaching love and tolerance, but it seems that, behind the scenes, the sisterhood of the flower power era was riven by more base instincts.