Chris Lyon

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This self-taught artist began painting at 48 and rose to international fame just a year later

Contrary to the common belief that genius emerges in the young, it’s been found that major creative breakthroughs tend to happen in our late 30s. But new talents can emerge at any point in life.<p>Helen Downie, a London-based artist, discovered painting at 48—and, without any formal training, rose to …


C. D. Wright, 1949–2016; Read Her Poem “Our Dust”

By Dan Piepenbring January 14, 2016<p>C. D. Wright. Photo via Copper Canyon Press<p>The poet C. D. Wright died unexpectedly this week at the age of sixty-seven, in Providence, Rhode Island. “It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free,” Wright once said, “and declare …


TS Eliot prize: poet Sarah Howe wins with 'amazing' debut

Judges hail daring use of form in a collection that examines poet’s joint British and Chinese heritage<p>A new voice, who judges say “will change British poetry”, has won the TS Eliot poetry prize. Sarah Howe, a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute, was awarded the £20,000 prize for Loop …


The 16 Best Poetry Books Of 2015

Here are the poetry collections — from newcomers and veterans alike — that we absolutely loved in 2015. (Ranked in no particular order.)


Hide and seek with T.S. Eliot

Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue explore the essential weirdness of Eliot’s poetry in a way that has never been done before<p>When <i>The Waste Land</i> first appeared, there were rumours that it was a hoax. It seemed so strange: 400 lines in many languages, and even the sections that were in English looked as …

English embroidery: the forgotten wonder of the medieval world

Think of an art at which the English have excelled and I doubt you would come up with the word ‘embroidery’. As I muttered when my agent asked whether I should like to make a film for BBC4 about the golden age of this forgotten but brilliant native art form: ‘Embroidery? What, like sewing?’ But no, …

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages? – John McWhorter

English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is …