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T.S. Eliot

The people's poet

The <i>IoS's</i> literary editor, Katy Guest, considers how Carol Ann Duffy will handle the 'poisoned chalice' of being the new Poet Laureate

Poetry enters remarkable new territory

Glitzy readings, throngs of fans &ndash; verse has never been more vibrant. John Walsh works the crowd at the TS Eliot prize, and witnesses the birth of a star

Simon Gray: Playwright, novelist and author of a series of hilarious,

Few writers – even those who present a carefully nurtured, self-deprecatory public image – have pursued so many careers, all involving ferociously committed hard graft, as Simon Gray. Successful as academic, novelist and dramatist for stage, television and radio, he found in several volumes as a later-life memoirist the ideal outlet for a rich seam of material, variously bilious, hilarious, irascible and on occasion deeply affecting, as he reflected on his life as an accident-prone, chain-smoking ex-alcoholic and, latterly, cancer-suffering writer.