Skip to main content

Mick Imlah

Talented poet, journalist and TLS Poetry Editor Mick Imlah has died, aged 52, of motor neurone disease. I never had the privilege of meeting Mick, though I will always be grateful for his publishing a handful of my poems, and later, reviews, the first at a time when I had no real biog note to speak of or much of a publication record. His encouragement helped immeasurably, and I am sure that many, many other poets have received similar help and encouragement from Mick along the way, during his 17 years at the TLS - Carrie Etter and David Wheatley two such writers.

This is a huge loss for the world of poetry, as indeed for the world of journalism and literary criticism. It seems odd that, only last week, I completed a critical perspective of his poetry for the British Council's Contemporary Writers website, and had been in touch over a review I recently finished for the TLS. The perspective of his work has now been duly edited and will appear along with his forthcoming profile on the site - one of many appraisals of his work and life which I expect to appear over the coming months.

Comments

Unknown said…
The news is very sad indeed; I feel for his family.

I look forward to seeing that appraisal, do let us know when it goes up.

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Louis MacNeice

‘World is crazier and more of it than we think, incorrigibly plural’. Even if you’re not that well-versed in modern British and Irish poetry, chances are you’ll still know ‘Snow’, or a line or two from the poem will seem naggingly familiar. While still in his twenties, Louis MacNeice wrote it in 1935, and since then, it’s been a favourite with readers, writers and editors, cropping up in every kind of poetry anthology.

Weird, then, that MacNeice’s work has often been seen as a footnote to that of his illustrious pal W.H. Auden, when he’s so clearly a hugely original poet in his own right. And when, among more recent generations, the likes of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Don Paterson and Conor O’Callaghan have all cited him as a major influence in their own writing. It’s not like ‘Snow’ was a one hit wonder, either. Despite some of the less exciting – and often lengthy – stuff he wrote in the early 50s, MacNeice only got better, perfecting his moving, atmospheric and pow…