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Kate Kellaway

The Stairwell review Michael Longley's shortcuts to the heart

Birth and death are never far apart in the Irish poet's cherishable new collectionOne of the most moving things about Michael Longley's tenth collection is the way in which he considers death, giving it no special treatment, not dressing it up or flatteri

Cubanía review Carlos Acosta brings Havana to Covent Garden

Carlos Acosta's attempt to link his two homes doesn't quite work, but still he dances a dream.

Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth review Ruth Padel's new collection tackles the Middle East

Musical instruments of east and west appear in the search for common ground in Ruth Padel's accomplished new collection "Making is our defence against the dark," is the last line of Ruth Padel's new collection, but it could almost be the first and stand a

Beryl; Wonderland; Adler & Gibb review

Maxine Peake puts Yorkshire cyclist Beryl Burton back in the saddle, but a play about the miners' strike sheds little new light.

Beryl; Wonderland; Adler & Gibb review

Maxine Peake puts Yorkshire cyclist Beryl Burton back in the saddle, but a play about the miners' strike sheds little new light.

Bright Travellers review Fiona Benson's impressive first collection

Fiona Benson transforms life's surprises, accidents and let-downs into poems of great beauty in her bold debut You might think Bright Travellers a fey title, but not once you have encountered the poem from which it has been parted. It describes a baby's

Lost for Words review Edward St Aubyn's prize satire of the literary world

St Aubyn turns his 'restless wit' to a gorgeously vicious dissection of the judging of a book award.

The Testament of Mary; Stevie review

Before The Testament of Mary begins, the audience is invited up on to the stage.

The Testament of Mary; Stevie review

Before The Testament of Mary begins, the audience is invited up on to the stage.

I Put a Spell on You review John Burnside's path less travelled

In this digressive, consuming 'anti-memoir' the poet traces his development in prose that's full of wonders.