March 26, 2020
Keepers of the Flame
Tickets to this event are exclusive to RSL Members and Fellows, and Friends of the Bodleian.
In 2009, British poetry lost a unique voice when Mick Imlah died at the age of 52. In his two collections – published 20 years apart – Imlah was revealed, as fellow poet Mark Ford noted, to have ‘a poetic sensibility that was utterly original’, his poems ‘by turns lyrical, sardonic, hilarious and unsettling’. In his introduction to Imlah’s Selected Poems, Alan Hollinghurst draws the reader’s attention to Imlah’s own characterisation of his first collection, Birthmarks: it deals with ‘those things – class, family, congenital strengths and weaknesses, prejudices, additions, tattoos, that people are stuck with, whether they like it or not’. In this event in partnership with the Bodleian Library, Oxford, where Imlah’s archive is held, the poet’s long-time friends Hollinghurst and Ford discuss the things that writers leave behind, and the things that shape their work from the first. Chairing their discussion is biographer and critic Hermione Lee, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Oxford University.
This event will be followed by a drinks reception.
OXFORD, OX1 3BG