Could this have been an act of sabotage by the outraged burghers of bucolic Stedham, deep in the Sussex countryside?

Books: Poetry anthologies

Who reads poetry? 0.03 per cent of the population, according to research quoted by As the Poet Said: pickings and choosings (edited by Tony Curtis; Poetry Ireland Press, distributed by the Poetry Society, pounds 6.99), a must for all poets and the poor sods who live with them; which includes most of us, one way and another. ("People in the West don't know I'm a poet" - Colonel Gaddafi.) Its apercus will brighten any reviewer's desk. All quotations here come from its cheeky pages.

Prize poet takes the rap

Ted Hughes, Britain's most prestigious poet, could find himself competing against rap artists at next year's poetry "Oscars" following the success of Jamie McKendrick, a rival poet, who won pounds 10,000 for his collection The Marble Fly at last night's Forward poetry awards.

Books: Lines on the brain

This Thursday, 9 October, is National Poetry Day. Around the country there will be events prize-giving and readings publishers are busy putting out the best of old and new BY HEART: 101 Poems to Remember by Ted Hughes, Faber pounds 7.99 OLD CHESTNUTS WARMED UP

Books: Independent choice: First novels

Like Ted Hughes's hawk, the eponymous hero of Mark Fyfe's Asher (Marion Boyars, pounds 11.95) has no sophistry in his body and his manners are tearing off heads. Asher is a ruthlessly intelligent, sex and drugs-driven 18-year-old. He has no humanity - or thinks he hasn't. He coldly manipulates everyone he knows. "The disposability of life" is his dismissive phrase. His charm, skilfully simulated as a means to various ends, is all the more chilling because we are privy to its falsity. The calculated seduction of Jenny is as foul as anything in Les Liaisons Dangerouses; the killing fantasies are very nasty.

There goes rhymin' Simon: Interview: Simon Armitage

Bit of a lad, was Armitage, well before `Loaded'... And eight years after he first shot to fame, he still manages to remain a Nice Ordinary Bloke - as well as Our Best Young Poet (even at 34)

Diana - The Aftermath: Poem for a lost princess

Ted Hughes, the Poet Laureate, has penned a short poem to mark the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Pick Of The Year



Fifteen years ago, Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney compiled their highly successful anthology The Rattle Bag. Their follow-up, The School Bag, is 'less of a carnival, more like a checklist'. Will it too be a winner?

there was a hungry young poet ...

The Poetry Place's fancy food and celebrity patrons will ensure that today's budding bards won't starve, reports Matthew Sweet

'Dirge-like' anthem hitting the wrong note

If the Fabian Society has its way, Britain will kiss goodbye to the "dirge-like tune" that is its national anthem and march into the next century singing a stirring song by Andrew Lloyd Webber.


Early promise, late excuses. Two hundred years on, Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 'the model for all writers who can't deliver' - is revived for our age by three new books

BOOKS FICTION/POETRY: From hard knocks to bardic rituals

SELECTED POEMS by W S Graham, Faber pounds 9.99

33 years on, a new book by Sylvia Plath

THIRTY-three years after her suicide, Sylvia Plath's publishers are trumpeting a "new" book by the controversial poet. The It Doesn't Matter Suit, a children's story found among the poet's papers at the Lilly Library in Indiana University, has created a buzz of excitement among publishers around the world.


Like everyone else we've been trying to ignore the growing heaps of tinsel and novelties in the shops ... Yes, Christmas lurks. But despair not, for here are two little publications to make pressie-buying easier. The Booksellers Association is distributing 2.5 million copies of their Books for Giving through bookshops and letter-boxes. Their rallying-cry is "Buy a gift for life - buy a book" (with today's bindings? Are they joking?). And a worthy, middle-of-the-road selection it is too. In fiction Brian Moore, Pat Barker, and Iris Murdoch rub up against Ken Follett, Anne Rice, Dick Francis and Iain Banks (the precis of Whit neatly gives a chunk of the plot away) and Amis, M is dumped yet again for the "deliciously wicked"Amis, K.
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
India & Nepal
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album