THEY say you should never meet your heroes: however, Huddersfield poet Simon Armitage has nothing but pleasant memories of time spent in the company of two key influences, Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.
BOOK OF THE WEEK The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan, published in hardback by Borough Press, JENNIFER Ryan dedicates her wonderfully warm debut novel to her grandmother, Eileen Beckley, and the women of the Home Front, whose incredible stories she has woven together into a beautifully life-affirming tale of the power of community spirit in the constant fear of war.
BOOK OF THE WEEK History Of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, published in hardback by W&N LINDA (15) lives with her mum and dad – at least she thinks they're her mum and dad – in the cabins of an abandoned commune in the wilds of Minnesota.
JOHN Boyne accepts that he will forever be known as the author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, no matter how great his novels have been before or since his children's story became an international hit and was made into a movie But he doesn't begrudge the fact that his 2006 novel – in which an innocent nine-year-old boy, Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant in the Second World War, befriends a Jewish boy in a concentration camp, unaware of his terrible plight – may have usurped better novels he has written.
"I'M MUCH happier with this version, to be honest with you" enthuses author Mark McAvoy of his new revised and updated edition of Cork Rock: From Rory Gallagher to The Sultans of Ping – a definitive and highly readable guide to the rebel city's ever-evolving rock scene.