Culture House Daily

Vintage engraving of a Common nightingale, from Francis Orpen Morris

Spectator competition winners: what Keats really thought of that nightingale

25 March 2019 9:23

For the latest challenge competitors were asked to submit a recently discovered lost poem by a well-known poet that makes…

Books Podcast: how does the world look through a different language?

20 March 2019 18:01

My guest on this week’s books podcast is the Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri. Someone whose own fiction has negotiated the…

Spectator competition winners: ‘Shall I prepare thee for a summer’s day?’ (new ways of weather-forecasting)

17 March 2019 8:45

The seed for this week’s task, to put your own spin on a weather forecast, came from the Kings Singers’…

Books Podcast: the life of Richard Sorge, Stalin’s master spy

13 March 2019 18:51

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by Owen Matthews to talk about the man many have claimed was the…

Spectator competition winners: Killer-Heels Tess and Boris the Johnson – Westminster hard-boiled

10 March 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to submit a short story in the style of hard-boiled crime fiction set in the corridors…

The Books Podcast: love, death, and loss with Max Porter

6 March 2019 19:20

In this week’s books podcast I’m talking to Max Porter, former publisher at Granta and author of the prizewinning debut…

It was Keith Flint’s aggressive, feral, live performances which made The Prodigy so great

4 March 2019 16:28

Keith Flint, the fearsome looking frontman of British electronic dance group The Prodigy, has died at the age of 49.…

Spectator competition winners: crossing a haiku with a limerick

3 March 2019 9:30

We already have short-form hybrids such as the clerihaiku (here’s one from Mary Holtby): Peter Palumbo Cries, ‘Mumbo-jumbo!’ and rails…

1711 and all that: the untold story of The Spectator

1 March 2019 20:44

The first edition of the first Spectator was published 308 years ago today. I recently found a copy in a…

Spectator Books: how angels have changed through history

27 February 2019 18:03

In this week’s Spectator Books I’m talking to Peter Stanford, author of Angels: A Visible and Invisible History. Why is…

Bohemian Rhapsody’s Oscars win is a triumph over snobby film critics

26 February 2019 15:17

Midway through Bohemian Rhapsody, the big screen biopic about legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury that won four Oscars on Sunday,…

Spectator competition winners: poems about struggling to write a poem

23 February 2019 9:30

The call for poems about the difficulty of writing a poem attracted a far-larger-than-usual entry. A.H. Harker’s punchy couplet caught…

The diversity agenda is killing cinema

22 February 2019 19:01

The film world is atoning for its crimes against diversity. On screen, strong women are supplanting Disney princesses. Superheroes, once…

Books Podcast: how climate change will transform geopolitics as we know it

20 February 2019 17:54

In this week’s Spectator Books, I’m talking to the American journalist David Wallace-Wells about his new book The Uninhabitable Earth:…

Spectator competition winners: in dispraise of Valentine’s Day

15 February 2019 17:24

The invitation to submit poems in dispraise of Valentine’s Day certainly struck a chord, drawing a large and heartfelt entry…

Books Podcast: Deborah Lipstadt on anti-Semitism and what you can and can’t say about Israel

13 February 2019 17:12

In this week’s books podcast, I’m joined by Deborah Lipstadt — the historian who herself made a piece of history…

Spectator competition winners: breaking up is hard to do

11 February 2019 14:51

The invitation to competitors to write a poem entitled ‘Breaking up is hard to do’ produced an inventive, accomplished entry…

Books Podcast: how has Royal reporting changed since Diana?

7 February 2019 11:50

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined from Los Angeles by Andrew Morton — the Royal writer who scooped the…

Spectator competition winners: it started with a tweet…

3 February 2019 9:30

For the latest challenge you were asked to submit a poem or a short story that begins ‘It started with…

Books Podcast: is it time to stop working?

30 January 2019 18:35

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by Josh Cohen, author of the Not Working: Why We Have To Stop…

Vanity and fake news lie behind Simon Rattle’s new concert hall plan

28 January 2019 16:41

Like Theresa May with her thrice-spurned deal, the London Symphony Orchestra is pressing ahead with plans for a concert hall…

Spectator competition winners: how to be happy

28 January 2019 14:00

The latest challenge was to write a poem taking as your first line ‘Happy the man, and happy he alone’,…

Books Podcast: what modern Bibles get wrong

23 January 2019 17:12

In this week’s books podcast, my guest is Robert Alter – who has just published the fruits of decades of…

Spectator competition winners: The Parable of the Faithful Servant as P.G. Wodehouse would have written it

20 January 2019 9:30

The call to supply a parable rewritten in the style of a well-known author drew a lively and entertaining entry.…

Books Podcast: why did Sweden cover up incidences of mass sexual assault?

17 January 2019 11:16

What do you think of when you think of Sweden? If, like me, the very name conjures fuzzy ideas of…