Culture House Daily

An etching of Robert Burns (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Spectator competition winners: ‘O Poor deceasèd Robbie Burns – or should we call you Rabbie?’: William McGonagall’s elegy on Robert Burns

28 April 2019 8:43

The prompt for this challenge – to submit an elegy by a poet on another poet – was ‘Adonais’, Shelley’s…

The Books Podcast: Nicci Gerrard – The Cold Friction of Expiring Sense

24 April 2019 16:12

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by the journalist and (as one half of the crime writer Nicci French)…

The Books Podcast: Cass Sunstein – Beyond the Nudge

17 April 2019 11:22

In this week’s Books Podcast I’m joined by Professor Cass Sunstein – best known here as co-author of the hugely…

The return of plainchant

15 April 2019 15:54

‘I’m still warmed up from last night,’ said Sophie Bevan early on a Sunday morning in the practice-room behind the…

Why Peter Sellars’s staging of the St John Passion – which I sang in – was deeply flawed

10 April 2019 18:14

It has been my privilege over the past two weeks to sing in the chorus of the Orchestra of the…

The Books Podcast: who was Søren Kierkegaard?

10 April 2019 17:53

My guest for this week’s books podcast is Clare Carlisle, author of a new life of Søren Kierkegaard, Philosopher of the Heart.…

When Fleabag was a play everyone slagged it off – except The Spectator

10 April 2019 14:36

Over the past six weeks something odd has happened. Head to the culture pages of any newspaper and you can’t…

Spectator competition winners: spring villanelles

7 April 2019 9:45

The latest challenge was to compose a spring villanelle. The villanelle – established in France in the 16th century by…

The Books Podcast: Eglantyne Jebb, the extraordinary woman who founded Save The Children

3 April 2019 17:44

In this week’s books podcast I’m talking to Clare Mulley about The Woman Who Saved The Children, her biography of Eglantyne Jebb…

Spectator competition winners: ‘She had the type of fake tan that would be of great service if she ever had to hide in Oak Furniture Land’ – and other bad analogies

29 March 2019 18:00

Your latest challenge was to come up with toe-curlingly bad analogies. This is an idea shamelessly pinched from the Washington…

Books Podcast: Venice, the perfect city for crime fiction

27 March 2019 19:12

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by one of the doyennes of crime writing, the brilliant Donna Leon. She…

Art institutions should stop virtue-signalling about funding and focus on what they’re showing

27 March 2019 18:30

The ethics of the private patronage of arts institutions has never been straightforward issue. But as the preoccupation with transparency…

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 Master 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…