Tracey Thorn’s first book Bedsit Disco Queen was an understated chronicle of life as a musician. It wasn’t overtly confessional, but what made it so c(...)

Robert Pinsky: “There is a very active vital life of poetry in the US, quite contrary to the stereotype that all Americans are vulgar yahoos who don’t care about art.” Photograph: Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe/ Getty Images

The term “poet-in-residence” suggests a leisurely period of domicile: a year at a university, perhaps, or a season in some crumbling mansion by the(...)

Linda Spalding: “Since no Irish author could be overrated, they must all be underrated. Ireland is the origin of authorial species.” Photograph: Jeff Nolte

Linda Spalding won the 2012 Canadian governor-general’s award for The Purchase (Sandstone (...)