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  banter n. the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.  v. engage in banter. DERIVATIVES  banterer n.  bantering adj.  banteringly adv.” –Oxford English Dictionary   ‘BANTER‘ is one of our favourite words … so it goes without saying that we’re loving hosting our first ‘banter session’ with great authors, Kate Perry and Ava Miles. … Continue readings

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  SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, while listening to BBC 6 Music early in the morning, I had one of those rare magical moments, when you hear a song and its lyrics and melody are so mesmerising that they touch something deep inside and make the world, even for a few seconds, a better place for hearing … Continue readings

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  Talented singer–songwriter, musician, composer and poet Polly Jean aka ‘PJ’ Harvey is all about experiencing new things and pushing existing boundaries. Currently recording her ninth album at London’s historic Somerset House, to timed audiences, Harvey comments: ‘When you’re making music with other people in a space, you connect on a very primal level in … Continue readings

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  EDITOR’S CHOICE   The phenomenon that is Dolly Parton, playing Glastonbury 2014. A sight, I’m sure, many people never thought they would see. Amazing woman. You just have to grin. And sing.     See also: Dolly Parton, ‘The Not-so-invisible Woman’ … 100 great women in words’  

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    Captain Wentworth’s love letter to Anne Eliot, Persuasion – the most beautiful love letter in literature surely?   Even better than Darcy’s to Elizabeth…   I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, … Continue readings

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  Iconic American folksinger and civil-rights activist Pete Seeger sadly passed away on Monday evening. Seeger, who was 94, was key to the development of the 20th-century folk–political music movement, influencing musicians ranging from Bob Dylan and Don MacLean to Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen. The latter’s 2006 album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions … Continue readings

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 EDITOR’S CHOICE   Performed by Miles Davis (trumpet); Milt ‘Bags’ Jackson (vibraharp); Thelonius Monk (piano); Percy Heath (bass); Kenny ‘Klook’ Clarke (drums). From a session originally recorded on December 24, 1954 (the ‘Christmas Session’). It was released on the album Bags’ Groove (Prestige Records; 1957 – although the rest of the album is made up … Continue readings

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  EDITOR’S CHOICE       Two pleasures – a John Peel Session from 2003 by the late and great John Peel, broadcaster extraordinaire, and the influential indie band Broadcast, who we were lucky enough to see live on several occasions. Sadly, Mr Peel and Trish Keenan, lead singer of Broadcast, both died far too … Continue readings

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      EDITOR’S CHOICE   The acclaimed poet TS Eliot reads his poem, ‘The Journey of Magi’ in a rare recording. This is one of The Literary Shed’s favourite poems.  Also of interest: E McNight Kauffer – a friend of Eliot’s, McNight Kauffer illustrated ‘The Journey of the Magi‘ when it was published as … Continue readings

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      American poet Sylvia Plath discusses her poetry in 1962.                      

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EDITOR’S CHOICE   Highly influential Scottish singer–songwriter Bert Jansch died in 2011, leaving behind a huge canon of music. His unique guitar technique and innovative style, which blended folk, jazz and blues, brought Jansch critical acclaim following his move from Edinburgh to London in the early 1960s. Jansch said of that time, ‘I was a … Continue readings

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  We’ve always loved poetry and WB Yeats‘s beautiful poems are amongst our favourites. This is a rare and rather scratchy recording of the author reading his own work. It’s rather shouty, but it is YEATS! See also: A Poet to His Beloved