A sign at the Spanish Arch in Galway city urging people not to feed the swans.

When the British Labour party politician Alan Johnson recently played out his fantasy role as “king for a day” in the Guardian, his plan for a better(...)

Philip Larkin on reading his poetry to audiences: ‘I don’t want to go around pretending to be me.’ Photograph: Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

‘For poetry readings, the general rule is that if the poet is outnumbered it is a success.” This remark by the poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch infor(...)

Seamus Heaney’s inclusion as an Unseen Poet on Paper 2 this year has been  described by many students as “just cruel”.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Examiners sent Seamus Heaney astray again this Leaving Cert, as the poet turned up on the Unseen Poetry section and not in Prescribed Poetry - as many(...)

Rick Gekoski is an art collector, constantly on the lookout for rare or missing works. His passion for collecting has led him to ponder the nature of (...)

Heli

When, in the early stages of this harsh, nihilistic depiction of life in contemporary Mexico, a young girl happens upon a cute little puppy, inform(...)

Photograph: Thinkstock

Recent poetic interventions on RTÉ Radio 1 to celebrate the One City One Book programme are likely to have intrigued and beguiled listeners. Readers o(...)

The news this month that Amtrak, the US rail operator, is to introduce writers-in-residence on its 15 long-distance routes reminds us of the li(...)

Michael Harding at Lough Allen, Co Leitrim. Photograph: Brian Farrell

I was in a cheap cafe one morning recently, eating eggs and sausages, when a text surfaced on my phone saying that an old friend had died. All around (...)

Brad Pitt: Fifty isn’t as old as it used to be. Photograph: Getty Images

Tell us more about stuff that happened 50 years ago this month. It’s been 10 minutes since somebody pointed out that, by dying on the same day as Pres(...)

Singer Paul Simon reads a poem during a tribute to Seamus Heaney at Cooper Union in New York City on Monday evening. Photograph: Michael Nagle

For Paul Simon it was 50 ways to read a poem as one of America’s greatest songwriters practised verses by one of Ireland’s greatest poets for a Seamus(...)