Selected Poems, By Tony Harrison
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 08 February 2013
Slangy, rooted, erudite, rhythmic, Harrison is a titan among poets: a unique Yorkshire brew of Auden, Byron, Brecht and Kipling, with a slug of Roman satire.
As Radio 4 prepares to broadcast "v." - the 1980s film-poem notable for profundity far more than for profanity - this updated selection gives new readers a perfect entry-point. Strict in form, free in thought, learned and colloquial, his mesmeric voice endures.
The closing "Shrapnel", peppered with history's ironies, yokes via his Beeston youth wartime raids and the 7/7 bombers.
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