Professor Graham Chesters, the new Chair of the Philip Larkin Society, joins us to talk about how came to Hull University, inadvertently following the footsteps of Larkin. Graham also tells us about his relationship with Philip Larkin both as a university colleague and a neighbour in Hull and some of his more disconcerting and memorable encounters with Larkin. Graham talks about his involvement with the Philip Larkin Society and the impact of Covid on the Society. Graham also talks to us about the Larkin poem Absences. A couple of little technology gremlins sneaked in here, so apologies for the occasional dip in sound quality.
Contemporaries of Larkin mentioned: Garnet Rees (Chair of Modern French Literature at Hull), Vernon Watkins (Welsh poet), Brynmor Jones (Vice Chancellor of Hull University), George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney, Eddie Dawes (founding Chairman of the PLS), Maeve Brennan (Larkin’s sub-librarian and lover), Monica Jones (Larkin’s partner), Betty Mackereth (Larkin’s secretary), Carole Collinson (PLS Membership Secretary), James Booth, biographer of Larkin, Life, Art and Love (2014).
Other texts: Larkin: A Writer’s Life by Andrew Motion (1993), The Sight of Death by TJ Clarke (2006).
French literature: Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire (1857), Rimbaud, Mallarme, Roland Barthes.
Larkin poems discussed: As Bad as A Mile, Absences, I Remember, I Remember.
Presented by Lyn Lockwood.
Theme music: 'The Horns Of The Morning' by The Mechanicals Band.
Audio production by Simon Galloway.
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