Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: poems that go backwards and forwards

19 May 2019 9:30

For the latest competition you were asked to compose a poem that can be read forwards and backwards, i.e. from…

Books Podcast: Ursula Buchan on her grandfather, John Buchan

15 May 2019 11:23

In this week’s books podcast, I’m joined by Ursula Buchan – the author of a hugely involving new life of…

The St George flag. Image: Getty

Spectator competition winners: what is Englishness?

12 May 2019 9:30

The call for poems about Englishness in the style of a well-known poet produced a mostly predictable line-up — from…

The Books Podcast: Bret Easton Ellis on coming out as Patrick Bateman

8 May 2019 19:06

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by Bret Easton Ellis. The author of Less Than Zero, American Psycho and…

Spectator competition winners: how it feels to be a half-eaten gorgonzola

5 May 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to submit a short story that ends ‘I feel like a half-eaten gorgonzola’. Thanks to reader…

Books Podcast: Joseph Stiglitz on the EU’s big economic mistake

2 May 2019 11:43

In this week’s books podcast, my guest is the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, architect of Bill Clinton’s “Third Way”…

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…