Mark Twain

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Bob Dylan performing in 1993: he “widened the scope of poetry more successfully than many of the Beat poets”. Photograph: EPA

I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver And I’m reading James Joyce Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice For those still wond(...)

Michael Colgan: he has forged indelible associations between the Gate and the works of Beckett, Friel and Pinter and  boosted the careers of Conor McPherson, Selina Cartmell and Wayne Jordan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

There is an anecdote that Michael Colgan, outgoing artistic director of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, likes to share with any acquaintances considering (...)

I do not like them, those glum neo-Puritans. Those who have assumed it as a mission in life to make misery. Those who lacerate our simple pleasures, r(...)

Nikola Tesla (blurred at centre) performs an electrical experiment for writer Samuel Clemens (left), aka Mark Twain, and actor Joseph Jefferson in 1894

As well as being a gifted writer, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was fascinated with technology. When he was born in 1835, sailing was the usual means o(...)

Dara Bree: ‘The people of Boston are welcoming to newcomers.’

“Wait, which one is Galway again?” asked the bemused but enthusiastic American family who came to Boston’s Fenway Park on a frigid afternoon for the (...)

The first half of this book consists of fragments of autobiography that Mark Twain dictated to his secretary from March 1st, 1907, to December 26th(...)

Pauline Curley was the first Irish female athlete to finish the Dublin Marathon on the October Bank Holiday Monday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

The main difficulty in standing at the finish line of the Dublin Marathon is that every one of the 15,000 runners who begin passing by has their own s(...)

 Aran Islander photographed in 1955. Photograph: George Pickow/Three Lions/Getty Images

Purist Irish-language practitioners who frown on phrases such as “mo bhicycle” and “mo mhobile fón” are a “pain in the neck”, according to a Californi(...)

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(...)

Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee in Slow West

Still young and nimble, John Maclean has already had two successful careers. Oddly, neither was in the field that first held his attention. The(...)

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