The five poets shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now award are, clockwise from top left,  Nick Laird, Conor O’Callaghan, Tara Bergin, Billy Ramsell and Sinéad Morrissey

There is a poem of sorts on the flyleaf of Nick Laird’s new poetry collection, Go Giants. “Poetry,” he writes, “they’re pretty sure you’re not wort(...)

Gerald Dawe: ‘Do it because you want to and not for any other reason, and stick at it no matter what.’  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Sons and Lovers by D H Lawrence. What was your favourite book as a child? Treasure Island(...)

Seamus Heaney: teamed up with Des Kavanagh as a boarder at St Columb’s College

Louis MacNeice on Nimmo’s pier head, Moya Cannon on the banks of the Corrib, Mairtín Ó Direáín east of Arainn ... wherever you walk in Galway, (...)

When 20-year-old Nina leaves Leicestershire to take up a position in London she finds herself sharing no ordinary life. Her charges are Sam and(...)

Benjamin Dwyer seems to have encountered Ted Hughes’s From the Life and Songs of the Crow much as a helpless coastal dweller might have encountere(...)

Barrie Cooke at the opening night of his exhibition in the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin in 2007. Photograph: Fran Veale

Artist Barrie Cooke has died in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow, on Tuesday evening. Born in Cheshire, England, in 1924, he w(...)

The wren: wanted, dead or alive. Illustration: Michael Viney

They wore home-made masks cut from cornflake packets, but the little wren in their jam jar was, as it were, the real thing, still alive and fretful on(...)

Seamus Heaney did not confine himself to poetry. A respected critic, he also was a distinguished academic and his translations from Greek, Latin, Italian, Irish and Anglo-Saxon reflect the extent of his learning. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Born: April 13th, 1939; Died: August 30th, 2013The Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, who has died aged 74, was described by Robert Lowell as “the most imp(...)

Once a carpenter, poet Adam White is still inspired by construction: ‘I tend to try to recreate the woodwork, the sounds and smells and pleasures of it, in the writing’

Poetry and carpentry may seem worlds apart but for Adam White, shortlisted for a prestigious poetry award, both crafts require an apprenticeship and g(...)

Every morning that he is there Lord (Maurice) Saatchi has his breakfast beside his Irish wife’s tomb at their lakeside home in West Sussex. Two years (...)