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Peter Forbes tells Carole Angier about the appeal of objectivity and poetic forms, and discusses the art of mimicking nature — be it learning from burrs how to make velcro, or learning from animals how to camouflage armies.

Rukhsana Ahmad speaks with John Siddique about her peripatetic childhood in Pakistan, how her concern for other people motivates her to keep writing across years and genres, and how she’s avoided the constraints of the ‘post-colonial’.

Stephen Sharkey asks why anybody would want to turn a perfectly good novel into a stage play, and explains the value in turning the solitary pursuit of reading into the shared experience of theatre.

Bill Kirton considers Gustav Flaubert’s masterpiece, suggesting that its irregularities might be subversion rather than error, and spends an evening with his eponymous heroine.

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