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Celebrating Pete Morgan's poetry

Yvonne Reddich meets Pete Morgan following a birthday celebration of one of the country's greatest and most loved poets.

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Credits for YSTV: Anna Bucks and Alex Muller

The poet Pete Morgan was born in Lancashire in 1939. His poetic talent became apparent while he was at school. Yet at the age of sixteen, he found himself in London without a home - and without an audience for his poetry. His famous and ingenious solution was to begin pinning copies of his poems to the trees on Hampstead Heath, gaining a readership and yet still remaining an anonymous voice resonating in the landscape.

And what a poet of the landscape Pete Morgan is. First published in Edinburgh, he moved back to Northern England in 1971, this time to Yorkshire. A local admirer of literature and the arts offered him a cottage in Bay, in which to write poetry. The result of this three-year 'fellowship' was his collection 'A Winter Visitor', a collection rich in wry, meticulously observed depictions of wild landscapes and human nature.

His 2009 collection, 'August Light,' is a tour de force containing such alluringly enigmatic pieces on the natural world as 'Flurry', and the truly magnificent, transcendentally beautiful 'Late Fire'. During his recent birthday celebration at the University of York, Carol Anne Duffy paid tribute to him. In addition to the current laureate's accolades, Pete Morgan knew and was admired by the late laureate Ted Hughes. Echoes of the surging rhythmic power of Hughes' verse ripple in the steady, ebbing, flowing pulse of some of Morgan's twofold alliterative lines. Yet Morgan's verse is more measured, more richly and subtly cadenced. The sonorous mastery of his poetry comes across best when he reads. It was a real pleasure to hear him perform some of his poems at his birthday celebration and during his interview for YSTV, and there will be much to look forward to in his forthcoming collection.

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2 Comment

Tom Callaghan Posted on Tuesday 23 Jul 2019

It seems scarcely possible that it's almost 35 years sine I first met Pete Morgan, and published some of his poems in 'Y', the University arts magazine, copies of which will probably still be lurking in the JB Morell... great poet, delightful man, and I really enjoyed the video interview...

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Vicki Robertson Posted on Tuesday 23 Jul 2019

the interviewer is so wooden and not engaged with her subject at all - Mr Morgan deserved better!

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