The pinniped barked, rolled on to its back and flapped its flippers across its belly, like it was having a laugh

The inquest into Wexford’s early exit from the hurling championship was in full spate when Vinny Fitzpatrick, Sunday papers under his oxter, slipped q(...)

The Borodin Quartet: their playing was extraordinarily contained, as if any dynamic level could be suggested or conjured without need for major change

The Celtic Tiger was just upon us when the first West Cork Chamber Music Festival took place in summer 1996. And the intervening years have seen th(...)

Creative power: WB Yeats as a young poet. Photograph: Bain/Library of Congress

Many years ago I gave a lecture at Queen’s University Belfast on a theme I have long since forgotten. After the lecture Prof Singh of the Italian d(...)

Mainstays of modernism: Ezra Pound, the attorney John Quinn, Ford Maddox Ford and James Joyce in Pound’s Paris studio in 1923. Photograph from Joyce Images, by Bob Cato and Greg Vitiello with an introduction by Anthony Burgess (Norton, 1994)

In April 1940, as the second World War intensified, British novelist Virginia Woolf gave a lecture to the Workers’ Educational Association in Brigh(...)

Seamus Heaney. Photographer: Jack McManus

Lisa Hannigan Singer Anahorish, soft gradient, of consonant, vowel-meadow. I was really stuck for ages last year and took to reading Se(...)

Jonathan Rutherford, Vodafone’s head of enterprise customer solutions

Visitors to the recent Vodafone-sponsored Pendulum Summit in Dublin were given a wealth of advice on how to empower themselves in their lives and care(...)

Bartholomew Ryan: ‘I see the great poets like Yeats and Wordsworth and Fernando Pessoa as loafing heroes.’ Photograph: Luis Barra

The Loafing Heroes sing the poetry of WB Yeats and TS Eliot, and the subject matter of their songs ranges from Irish revolutionary heroes to the de(...)

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953): while  best-known as a poet, he was also a talented prose writer. Photograph: Picture Post/Hulton Archive

Passion and an urgent rhetorical preoccupation with life’s defiance of death inspire the work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who was born 100 years ago t(...)

Uncanny: Sinéad Cusack, Charlie Murphy and Ciarán Hinds in Our Few and Evil Days

There is a line in Mark O’Rowe’s new play, Our Few and Evil Days, at the Abbey Theatre, that is so obedient to the rhythm of reported speech, and n(...)

 JK Rowling: was recently attacked online following a blog posting where she compared extreme nationalists to Death Eaters, supporters of the evil Voldemort in her Harry Potter series. Photograph: Ian West/PA

Scotland’s best known literary icon, the poet Robert Burns, would vote for independence in this week’s referendum, according to Alex Salmond, the nati(...)