Poetry

(Photo: Getty)

One thing I learned in 2016 – it’s hateful being right all the time

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Merry Christmas everyone. Here are some things I learned — or relearned — in 2016.   1. That which does…

John Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, 1972

Scholar, entertainer, poet, hoarder: the many faces of my father Johnny Cash

10 December 2016 9:00 am

John Carter Cash reflects on the many faces of Johnny Cash: scholar, entertainer, poet, hoarder

Aurora borealis above trees

What it's like to be a reindeer herder and other tales from the Arctic Circle

10 December 2016 9:00 am

In this season of watching and waiting as we approach Christmas and year’s end, radio has a precious role. At…

Thomas Hardy (Photo: Getty)

The only way wasn’t Wessex

19 November 2016 9:00 am

The ten pallbearers at Thomas Hardy’s funeral in Westminster Abbey on 16 January 1928 included Kipling, Barrie, Housman, Gosse, Galsworthy,…

A campaigner holds a placard reading "32 Years, Orgreave Justice" as they stand outside the Houses of Parliament (Photo: Getty)

An Orgreave inquiry would have turned history into a trial

5 November 2016 9:00 am

It is a great relief that there will be no inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ in 1984. The weirdness…

Wings

Rabih Alameddine’s desperate protagonist is plagued by Death, the Devil and the ashes of former lovers

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Shades of The Master and Margarita haunt Rabih Alameddine’s sixth book, in which Jacob, a Yemeni-born poet with a day…

Kate Tempest in 2015. Photo: Andrew Benge/Getty Images

Kate Tempest's poetry is simply no good

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Kate Tempest, a 30 year old dramatist and poet, has an appeal that’s hard to fathom. Is it all in…

Niche: an English word that turned into a French one

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Jonathan Swift, in his satirical poem ‘An Epistle to a Lady’, says modestly: ‘If I can but fill my Nitch,/…

Vintage letter and communication concept.

What you learn when you learn a poem by heart

10 September 2016 9:00 am

I’ve just learned by heart another poem — my first in nearly 30 years. The one I chose was A.E.…

Author Jon Kalman Stefansson (Photo: Getty)

Gale-force lyricism from Iceland’s most poetic novelist

27 August 2016 9:00 am

Centuries before their footballers learned giant-slaying ways, Icelanders knew how to startle the world with tall stories. In the moonscape…

Show your colours: a digital visualisation of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival’s closing light display

Scotland’s cultural scene is becoming vile, venal and parochial

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Many years ago an arts spokesperson for the SNP launched an extraordinary attack on Scottish Opera, saying, ‘If push comes…

World War II Enemy Fire Front Line

War Porn: a novel of the Iraq war that rewards repeated rereading

6 August 2016 9:00 am

In the first year or so of the Iraq occupation — or ‘big Army goatfuck’, as it is not quite…

afraid

How I survived my nightmare upbringing, by Ariel Leve

30 July 2016 9:00 am

All parents worry about the extent to which their children will expose their private weirdness to the world. They tell…

Old Book With Bright Light

St Mark’s Gospel is as good as EastEnders

30 July 2016 9:00 am

More brides in Britain go down the aisle to Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ than to any other tune, Simon…

(Photo: Getty)

Dictators’ new argument against free speech

23 July 2016 9:00 am

These days, you only need to turn your back for five minutes and you’ve missed another horror. The Turkish coup…

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, multisexual kleptomaniac, scatologist and creator of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’, c.1920

The woman who really made Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Who really made Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain'? Stephen Bayley looks back at the early days of the Dada movement a century after it began

‘Stack building, Malvern Hills’, by Laura Knight

A.E. Housman: the laureate of repression

2 July 2016 9:00 am

A.E. Housman’s poems leave us with the impression of fire that has been carefully wrapped in ice, says Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Poet Craig Raine (Photo: Getty)

Craig Raine: the critics’ greatest critic

2 July 2016 9:00 am

In My Grandmother’s Glass Eye, Raine has nothing but contempt for his poet-critic contemporaries – ‘bad readers’ who ‘get poetry wrong’

Author Margo Jefferson (Photo: Getty)

Slow radio at its best

18 June 2016 9:00 am

Three women, three writers, three very different life experiences. On Monday afternoon the artist Fiona Graham-Mackay introduced us to Imtiaz…

A kind of posthumous existence: a death mask of Keats, sold at auction for £16,100 in 1996

A beautiful place to die: Italy and the Romantic poets

28 May 2016 9:00 am

People can be mightily protective of their Romantic poets. When I worked at the Keats Shelley House, overlooking the Spanish…

Bob Geldof enjoys WB Yeats (Photo: BBC/Fergal O'Reilly)

BBC4’s Bob Geldof on WB Yeats was one of the best literary documentaries I’ve seen

9 April 2016 9:00 am

In recent years there’s been a fashion for arts documentaries presented by celebs rather than boring old experts — presumably…

poetic

What I’ve learned reciting poems in the street

2 April 2016 9:00 am

What I’ve learned from reciting verse in the street

‘The upper part of the cascade at Hafod’ by John ‘Warwick’ Smith, 1793

How to view the view

20 February 2016 9:00 am

It’s not all picnics and cowslips. You need sense as well as sensibility to appreciate a landscape, says Mary Keen

An otter’s metabolism is so high that you’d have to eat 88 Big Macs a day to match it

Charles Foster: ‘I need to be more of a badger’

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Being a Beast is an impassioned and proselytising work of philosophy based on a spectacular approach to nature writing. That…

Gerard Manley Hopkins (Photo: Getty)

The confessions of Gerard Manley Hopkins

9 January 2016 9:00 am

‘I am 12 miles from a lemon,’ lamented that bon vivant clergyman Sydney Smith on reaching one country posting. He…