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(...)

 Samuel  Beckett in 1977. Photograph: Efraim Habermann   / Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)

In Samuel Beckett’s final days in a nursing home in Paris, just before his death, in 1989, a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy lay on his bedside table(...)

Harry Clifton, Paula Meehan and Michael Longley: to spend even a short time with these three very different poets is to experience a tiny fraction of their love of words and their finely-tuned sense of mischief. Photograph: Dylan Madden

The Ireland Chair of Poetry is a solemn, formal, academic institution. The poets who hold it, however, tend to be anything but. Gather the three mo(...)

Alexis Stamatis: ‘There is a bunch of very important Greek authors, which will never be known abroad unless the Greek state stops treating the publishing industry as something useless.’ Photograph: alexistamatis2.blogspot.ie

Alexis Stamatis is a Greek novelist, poet and playwright. He is best known for his 2000 bestselling novel Bar Flaubert, which has been translated into(...)

The American poet Wallace Stevens once remarked that “the true religious force in the world is not the church but the world itself”. The British poet (...)

Billy Collins: ‘It is like an eye chart, with its big E at the top, and the letters getting less legible as it moves along. A poem should be like that’

‘The idea of a popular poet is a bit of an oxymoron in people’s minds,” says Billy Collins, the luminary lyricist and former American poet laureate(...)

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(...)