If the Dublin of Michael Smith’s upbringing was central to his work, so too were the landscapes, people and poets of Spain – a country he returned to again and again and whose poets he served as a dedicated and sympathetic translator.

Michael Smith’s gift were many – as poet, translator, teacher, founder and guiding spirit of an influential press and literary journal. He was also me(...)

Jonathan Meades: “A good chair is vital. I have a Canasta by Heron Parigi. It cost £800 16 years ago – it was worth it.” Photograph: BBC

Jonathan Meades is an author and broadcaster, specialising in food, architecture, and culture. His latest book, An Encyclopaedia of Myself, “a port(...)

English soccer fan Jimmy Barwick outside the Teatro Amazonas opera house in Manaus, Brazil, birthplace of Milton Hatoum. Photograph: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA

In my youth, two British travellers were chosen for discussion by my history teacher. Behind the choice lay a moral presupposition. The first trave(...)

On display: a cutout of Jorge Luis Borges at a book fair in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty

In a story called The Dead Man the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) writes about a character who emerges from a shabby working-class d(...)