Philosopher Mary Midgley, as illustrated for the Notes from a Biscuit Tin project

Plato may have been the father of western philosophy but he could also be a bit of an ass. Imagine trying to ban poetry! Poets could make the bad seem(...)

Woody Allen in Cannes, France, in 2010. Photgraph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The film-maker was accused of sexually assaulting his daughter in 1992, but never charged. He explains why he is done treading carefully When Wo(...)

 Photograph: Getty Images

Happy the man, whose wish and care/A few paternal acres bound/content to breathe his native air/In his own ground. (Alexander Pope) I wandered lonely(...)

Colm Tóibín: ‘I can’t do thrillers and I can’t do spy novels. I can’t do any genre-fiction books, really, none of them.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Colm Tóibín, award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and professor of the humanities at Columbia University, New York, was born in En(...)

Irish violinist Mairéad Hickey.

Virtually everything I’ve come across about Galway’s stint as European Capital of Culture next year, has been negative. However, one shining beacon on(...)

Debut author Yasmin Rahman devoured books about mental health issues as a teenager suffering from depression and engaging in self-harm

Hope is the thing with content warnings on, as Emily Dickinson didn’t say. These notes to readers at the beginning of a book, advising them that there(...)

Brian on the left and Tony (who died) on the right.

I had two brothers. They came as a pair. Just under two years separated them, but I can hardly recall a time when they weren’t together. They seemed t(...)

Murmuration: starlings at dusk.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The light at this time of year has a particularly ethereal quality. Dim and hazy, struggling to reach us, it sometimes seems to illuminate only shadow(...)

Poet Mary Oliver, with her dog Ricky, at her home in Hobe Sound, Florida in 2013. Photograph: Angel Valentine/The New York Times

Mary Oliver, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose work, with its plain language and minute attention to the natural world, drew a wide following while (...)

President Michael D Higgins’s campaign has asked opponent Seán Gallagher not to send letters regarding the election to Áras an Uachtaráin, “for obviou(...)

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