Poetry

Self-portrait

David Jones – the 20th century’s great neglected genius

1 April 2017 9:00 am

When Stravinsky visited David Jones in his cold Harrow bedsit, he came away saying, ‘I have been in the presence…

Why Milton still matters

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Paradise Lost can still speak to readers on its 350th anniversary – even if its champions sometimes seem to lose faith

Burgundies that taste of T.S. Eliot

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Eliot. After 50 years trying to make sense of his verse, and at the risk of admitting to rampant philistinism,…

Ezra Pound as a young man

Was Ezra Pound mad?

18 February 2017 9:00 am

On 21 December 1945, Ezra Pound was confined to St Elizabeths hospital in Washington DC. He had broadcast for Rome…

On the waterfront: The Deep, Hull

How Hull won me over

4 February 2017 9:00 am

James Walton finds a lot to love about this year’s City of Culture – even on a bleak January weekend

An exquisite, opulent bore: Death Takes a Holiday at Charing Cross Theatre reviewed

4 February 2017 9:00 am

It could be the nuttiest idea ever. The protagonist of this American musical is Death, who secretly reprieves a beautiful…

Josette Day and Jean Marias in La Belle et La Bête, one of Cocteau’s most visually stunning films

Jean Cocteau: confessions of an opium addict

7 January 2017 9:00 am

All biography is both an act of homage and a labour of dissection, and all biographers are jealous of their…

Global radio is now available at the swipe of a fingernail – yet it all sounds the same

7 January 2017 9:00 am

A new website, radio.garden, lets us browse radio stations across the globe. Nothing new about that. That’s been a key…

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

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…

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,…

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…

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'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,/…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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