[May 23, 2013] – Words and Music
On Sunday 2 June BBC Radio 3 will broadcast Words and Music, a programme about crowds by Erika Wright, in which Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Broadcast’ will feature, linked to Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings: the first item on the programme by the BBC Symphony Orchestra broadcast from Hull City Hall on 5 November 1961, attended by Maeve Brennan, and which was the initial inspiration for Larkin’s poem.
[March 4, 2013] – Faber Voices: Philip Larkin
Faber and Faber have launched a new Digital list of titles under the banner Faber Voices, including a 'selected' Philip Larkin. The titles are available from the iTune store.
The best way to experience the poetry of Philip Larkin on your iPad. Faber Voices lifts classic poems off the page, bringing together audio recordings of great poets reading their own work with an editor's selection of their poems. A wonderful and intimate experience for poetry lovers, Faber Voices are also an invaluable resource for those studying or exploring these works for the first time. This selection allows you to appreciate the poems as never before, in a beautifully clean design, with options to read and listen to the poet simultaneously. This is how poetry for iBooks should be. Features: See each poem exactly as it was intended, in a fixed format with no erroneous line breaks. Hear every poem as it should be heard, read by the poet at the tap of a finger. Experience the ultimate Larkin selection, made by his editors and estate exclusively for this ebook. The full list of poems:
Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Search 'Seamus Heaney', 'Wendy Cope' or 'Ted Hughes' for more Faber Voices.
[February 17, 2013] – The Larkin & East Riding Poetry Prize 2013
The prestigious Larkin & East Riding Poetry Prize 2013, sponsored by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and The Philip Larkin Society, is now open for entries. A downloadable leaflet (in PDF format) which includes the Entry Form is available HERE.
[January 12, 2013] – Ruth Siverns (1927-2012)
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Ruth Siverns.
Ruth Siverns (née Bowman) was born in Wellington, Shropshire, on 15 May 1927. She was 16 when she first met Philip Larkin in 1943 after he'd been appointed Librarian at the Wellington library she used regularly (he was 21, and this was his first job).
On 17 June 1950, Philip Larkin proposed marriage to Ruth, only to withdraw the proposal a fortnight later on 2nd July.
Ruth Siverns became a teacher and worked for many years in London and the Midlands. She gave up teaching to concentrate on the numerous other things she wanted to do, including writing a book, Barlow Dale's Casebook, about the investigations of her 'famous cat detective' creation Barlow Dale. She communicated regularly with Society members Maeve Brennan, Jean Hartley and Winifred Dawson, and contributed an article: 'Philip Larkin at Wellington' for the very fist issue of About Larkin (April 1996).
She died, aged 85, in Southampton General Hospital after suffering a bout of pneumonia. Requiem Mass to be held at St Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, North Baddesley on Monday 21st January at 2.00 p.m. No flowers please but donations if desired to Lymington Cat and Kitten Rescue may be sent to A. H. Cheater Funeral Directors, 122 The Hundred, Romsey, Hants, SO51 8BY.
[December 09, 2012] – Larkin Toads - The rewards and effects
Dave Lee, who made the Larkin25 'Here' video, has produced a 16 minute film (available on Youtube) about 'Larkin With Toads', the 2010 public arts project created as part of Larkin25.
The film has been made in advance of 'Hello Koalas', a similar public art event planned to take place in Port MacQuarie in Australia.
[December 2, 2012] – Unveiling of a teak column–seat at Hull Paragon Station
The unveiling took place today of a teak column-seat installed to complement the Martin Jennings statue of Philip Larkin at Hull Paragon Station.
The circular teak seat, fixed around a pillar on the Station concourse opposite the Philip Larkin statue, bears the poet's name and a short extract from his poem 'The Whitsun Weddings': "ALL SENSE OF BEING IN A HURRY GONE". The seat was unveiled by Susan Cunliffe-Lister, Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire.
[October 1, 2012] – Donations to the Society (2012-13)
The Society wishes to acknowledge the kind donations from the following members: Sir Tom Stoppard, Anthony Thwaite, Lorna Bushell, John Carey, Prof Graham Chesters, Enid Coxon, Dr Derek Haines, Rosemary Hilton, Richard Hoare, Brynmor James, Roger Lonsdale, Keith Marshall, Tim Readman, Guy Layton Ring, David Shaw, James Taylor, Andrew Wickham, Janet Caudwell, Judith Blackmore, Ekkehard Kopp, Philip Bacon, Prof Peter Dickinson, Valerie Chinchin, Jenny Parsons, Dr Daniel Gallimore, Clare Leach, Tracey Burrows and Prof James Booth.
Andrew Eastwood - General Secretary.
[July 4, 2012] – 2012-2013 Membership Cards
Would all members note that new membership cards, acknowledging renewals, will not be sent out until September 2012 after the Committee has formalised the Programme of Events for 2012-13. This will save the Society several hundreds of pounds in postage. Thanks to all Members for their patience. Andrew Eastwood - General Secretary.
[June 11, 2012] – AGM papers
A PDF [85 KB] of the AGM papers is now available HERE.
[May 10, 2012] – Anthony Thwaite library sale
The Spring 2012 catalogue 307 of Bertram Rota Ltd. Booksellers includes a selection from the Library of Anthony and Ann Thwaite, including the Anthony Thwaite Philip Larkin collection.
A PDF [8.49 MB] of the catalogue is available HERE.
[March 29, 2012] – D Jun-Yu Low: Take Me To The Kittens!
This week, Dennis Low opens his new photography exhibition, Take Me To The Kittens!, at Artlink Hull.
Many of you will remember Dennis as Larkin25's official "Toadographer". His photographs from that project not only graced many pages of About Larkin but also featured regularly in both local and national press, and were used in four art exhibitions, including an amphibian-inspired exhibition at London Zoo! Recently, Dennis has been heavily involved with photographing Larkin's belongings for PLS (more on that story later).
After photographing the Larkin toads, Dennis travelled to Essaouira, Morocco, in search of stray cats. Sponsored by Hahnemühle FineArt, Take Me To The Kittens! is a series of truly sumptuous large-scale photographs from that trip. Prints will be available to buy, and all profits go to RSPCA (Hull and East Riding branch), always a cause dear to Larkin's heart.
Take Me To The Kittens! runs from 30 March to 12 May 2012. There will be a preview and artist talk on 30 March (6.00-8.30pm). For further details of the exhibition or its events, contact Artlink directly (87 Princes Avenue, Hull, HU5 3QP, tel: 01482 345104, www.artlink.uk.net) or visit the exhibition website, www.takemetothekittens.com.
[January 10, 2012] – Archie Burnett discusses The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin on BBC Radio 4's Front Row.
Archie Burnett discusses his collection of Philip Larkin's complete poems, which is considerably larger than the slim volumes that the poet published in his lifetime. Mark Lawson finds out if he has unearthed any lost treasures.
Listen again at HERE.
[December 23, 2011] – Something Almost Being Said – by Simone Dinnerstein
Celebrated classical pianist, Simone Dinnerstein, releases her new album Something Almost Being Said on Sony Classical on 30 January 2012. The album, which takes its title from Larkin's poem 'The Trees', includes Bach's Partitas Nos. 1 and 2 as well as Schubert's Four Impromptus.
Further information can be found at www.simonedinnerstein.com.
[November 7, 2011] – The new Philip Larkin Society website forum
We have replaced the old PLS website forum with a completely new forum powered by phpBB Open Source software. The new forum offers a much richer experience for users. However, it's not clear from the number of people who actually used the previous forum that there is a real demand among our members and visitors for such a forum on our website. So, while we aim to do whatever we can to provide this facility for those who find it useful, we will monitor the situation to see whether this is in fact the best method for PLS members and visitors to exchange views and opinions on Larkin-related (and many other) topics.
I should point out that it was not possible to migrate the list of members from the old forum to the new one, so those who wish to remain contributing by posting or responding to the posts of others will need to register anew.
[October 27, 2011] – 2 new Philip Larkin French language editions
Two new Philip Larkin French language editions are due to be published on 3 November. Une fille en hiver and La vie avec un trou dedans will be published by éditions THIERRY MARCHAISSE. For further information follow the links by clicking on the book titles above.
[October 22, 2011] – First winners of the new Larkin25 Arts Awards announced – the LARKIN WITH TOADS legacy lives on!
Hot on the heels of the Larkin Toads winning a second major tourism award last week – Best Event in Yorkshire - Larkin25 is delighted to announce another success, as it reveals the first winners of two new arts awards open to people and organisations in Hull and the East Riding. The Larkin Society, as initiator of Larkin25, had its vice-chairman, Graham Chesters, on the Awards selection panel. This unique creative legacy is funded from the proceeds of the charitable auction of the colourful and highly popular Larkin Toads, which decorated Hull's streets last summer. The arts award will continue on an annual basis for at least the next four years, and aims to support outstanding, new and exciting arts activity in Hull and East Riding.
The inaugural Larkin25 Arts Award has been awarded to Hull-based Theatre Company Ensemble 52. The £3000 Award will allow them to stage a new, specially written piece of theatre, provisionally entitled 'Euphoria'. This vibrant theatre production will reflect all aspects of club culture from illegal raves to corporate nightclubs, from disco to Darby and Joan. Taking place in various venues around Hull's Fruit Market arts quarter, it will be staged in September next year. The play will be written by Dave Windass and Morgan Sproxton and directed by Andrew Pearson.
Andrew Pearson, director of Ensemble 52 said “Winning the Larkin25 Arts Award gives us a terrific opportunity to create a unique piece of work that will engage and thrill audiences. It also shows that the Fruit Market is continuing to develop as the city’s cultural quarter. In a time when funding is under huge pressure, it is great to be part of the Larkin25 initiative”.
This year’s second award - the Larkin25 Words Award for £2000 - has been won by a group of Hull and East Riding based writers and artists. With the working title 'Under Travelling Skies', they will create a book of poems, prose, photographs and paintings responding to the theme of Larkin’s Hull. The book will be accompanied by a short film and an exhibition of paintings which will show in various venues in the city and beyond.
Cliff Forshaw, a member of the group commented “It’s a great honour to win this Award and bring writers, painters, photographers and film-makers together for a truly creative collaboration”. Contributors will include such distinguished poets as Peter Didsbury, Christopher Reid, Carol Rumens, Maurice Rutherford and David Wheatley, along with the eminent Larkin scholar James Booth, novelist Ray French, poet and short-story writer Kath McKay, poets and painters John Wedgwood Clarke, Cliff Forshaw and Malcolm Watson, film-maker and visual artist Quentin Budworth, musician and writer Amanda Lowe, and writer Mary Aherne.
Chair of the Larkin25 Awards selection panel, Rick Welton said “The main aim of the Larkin25 Awards is to support exceptional, innovative arts activity in Hull and the East Riding. We were very impressed by the high quality of many of the submissions, however the two Award winners were outstanding and we are looking forward to seeing the finished works next year. We think this is a fitting and creative legacy, provided by the very well loved Larkin Toads, directly supports and benefits local artists, and adds to the cultural life of Hull and East Riding.”
The awards are administered on behalf of Larkin25 by the Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation.
[October 19, 2011] – Larkin’s Toads Take White Rose Award!!
Earlier this year, the Larkin25 project Larkin with Toads was voted the Most Remarkable Experience in Hull and East Yorkshire in the prestigious REYTA awards. It followed this success with a prestigious short-listing for a Yorkshire-wide White Rose Award.
Now, as the initiator of Larkin25, the Society is incredibly proud to announce that Larkin with Toads was chosen by an expert panel as the winner of the Tourism Event of the Year award. Competitors included the Freedom Festival, York Racecourse and the Jorvik Museum. The judges were generous in their praise of the community impact of the Larkin Toads, the partnership with business and the charity fund-raising (with £50,000 coming from the toads auction).
Winning the Yorkshire competition means that the project be automatically entered into the national awards scheme run by VisitEngland. The Society should hear about the national short-listing early in the New Year.
[September 26, 2011] – 2011-2012 Membership
The Society's General Secretary, Andrew Eastwood, wishes to let members know that the new 2011-12 membership cards are due from the printers any day and they will be sent out asap. New members will be sent a complimentary back copy of About Larkin. Thank you all for your patience.
[September 22, 2011] – The Geoffrey Waters Larkin Trail Sketchbook: a New Larkin Society Publication, in partnership with Hull City Libraries
Kingston Publications, the imprint of Hull City Council Library Services, will be launching in late October 2011 a beautiful facsimile edition of Geoffrey Waters’s Larkin Trail Sketchbook. This sketchbook was inspired by the artist’s first guided tour around the Larkin trail as described in the late Jean Hartley’s book, Philip Larkin’s Hull and East Yorkshire. Jean herself has written the introduction and was instrumental in securing its publication. Members of the Society are invited to the launch, details of which will be given on this website. Copies will be available for purchase via the Society’s merchandise page.
[September 19, 2011] – SHEFFIELD - Wednesday 19 October
Professor Edna Longley of Queen's University, Belfast, will give a public lecture, entitled 'Epistolary Psychotherapy: The Letters of Edward Thomas and Philip Larkin’.
Time and venue: 7 pm, Humanities Research Institute, Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QY.
Places are free but limited, so advance booking is required. For more information, or to book a place, see http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/letterwriting/events.html
[September 14, 2011] – The Philip Larkin Society sponsors new music inspired by Larkin
Members will be interested to hear that the Society has agreed to sponsor new music inspired by Larkin’s life and work. The project, under the direction of Dr Lee Tsang from the Department of Drama and Music at the University of Hull, will lead to a special concert of new compositions to take place during the Royal Musical Association’s Annual Research Students’ Conference, 5-7 January 2012, Middleton Hall, University of Hull.
Featured artists (in association with Hull Sinfonietta and the Philip Larkin Society) will be Sarah Leonard (soprano), Colin Blamey (clarinet/bass clarinet) and Jonathan Gooing (piano).
Members will be very welcome to attend both the concert and associated workshops. Further programme details to be released early November (see www.rma.ac.uk). Please check on the Society’s website closer to the date.
[September 4, 2011] – Heritage Open Days (Hull) - poetry event
Heritage Open Days (Hull) - Poetry Competition: the organisers of Heritage Open Days in Hull are inviting poets to come down to Holy Trinity Church on Saturday 10th September from 11am to 3pm with poems inspired by Hull, and either hand poems to the judges or be prepared to read them out. Last year, these same organisers were very helpful in including Larkin in their programme to mark the 25th anniversary of his death, so the Larkin Society is happy to encourage its members to turn up with or without a poem in hand. More information can be found on the Heritage Open Days website.
[September 4, 2011] – 2011-2012 Membership
The Society's General Secretary, Andrew Eastwood, wishes to let members know that he is currently preparing to deal with the membership renewals and new applications for the year which began on 1st July 2011 which arrived whilst he was away in USA. We are awaiting the new membership cards from the printers and once they arrive Andrew will sort things out. Thank you all for your patience.
[July 20, 2011] – Jean Hartley (1933-2011)
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Jean Hartley.
Jean Hartley (née Holland) was born in Hull in 1933. She married in 1953, and with her husband, George Hartley, founded the poetry magazine Listen, the Marvell Press, and Listen Records. Their first book publication was Philip Larkin’s The Less Deceived (1955).
In 1968 the Hartleys separated, and Jean became a student in the English Department at Hull University. After graduating she taught at Amy Johnson School, later lecturing at the Hull College of Further Education. She retired in 1989, the year that her autobiography, Philip Larkin, the Marvell Press, and Me, was published.
She was a founder member of The Philip Larkin Society in 1995 (and edited the Society's journal About Larkin between 1996 and 1999 and again, with Maeve Brennan, in 2003). Also in 1995, she published Philip Larkin’s Hull and East Yorkshire, a guidebook upon which the recently launched Larkin Trail was based; and over the years has led many groups, journalists and individual Larkin enthusiasts around the Larkin-related sites she identifies in the book.
Jean played a crucial and influential role as a member of the Larkin25 Steering Group in the preparations leading up to the 2010 commemorative activities, including campaigning with passion and vigour for the commissioning of a Philip Larkin statue.
Jean was an accomplished artist in her own right, having exhibited her work on many occasions. In January 2011, Jean was the recipient of a Doctor of Letters honorary degree from the University of Hull.
At the time of her death Jean Hartley was Deputy Chairman of The Philip Larkin Society. She passed away peacefully at home.
Jean will be dearly remembered and greatly missed.
[July 19, 2011] – Membership renewal
The Society's General Secretary, Andrew Eastwood, wishes to let members know that new Renewal forms are slightly late this year but will be sent out today or tomorrow. They will be dealt with the first week in September - "so don’t worry”.
[April 11, 2011] – Added to merchandise
Philip Larkin with Anthony Thwaite OBE
A pack of four postcards of the same image from a photograph taken by Philip Larkin, at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in 1972: Philip Larkin with Anthony Thwaite OBE, the prominent writer and poet, and friend of Larkin – £1.90.
[April 11, 2011] – About Larkin
James Booth has kindly scrutinised the back issues of the magazine, and has provided details of editions that contain significant original Larkin material.
Issues of About Larkin with important Larkin works in them are:
Those issues asterisked contain a large quantity of very significant material.
About Larkin: Journal back issues £8.00 each, available using PayPal, from our ABOUT LARKIN page.
Or, by post with cheques made payable to The Philip Larkin Society, to:
Philip Larkin Society Publications
33 Newland Park
Hull HU5 2DN
[February 10, 2011] – Philip Larkin on Soundcloud
There is now a Philip Larkin account on Soundcloud, the world's largest sound sharing community. All the tracks from the 1959 LP recording of The Less Deceived are currently available to listen to: www.soundcloud.com/philiplarkin
[November 16, 2010] – Jeff Vent of Coventry died on 4 November aged 85. He was a valued member of the PLS and will be much missed by all those who knew him as the “Mr Chips” of King Henry VIII School Coventry – the school attended by Larkin from 1930 to 1940. Jeff was keeper of the local Larkin flame and had recently been researching the life of “Monty” Burton, the formidable Head of KHS who even Larkin warily respected.
A memorial service for Jeff is to be held at the school on Saturday 20 November beginning at 10.30 am. For further details see the KHS website Senior News page. Don Lee of our Committee will formally represent the Society there.
[August 10, 2010] – Philip Larkin's 'The Dance' by The Holy Orders – New Video
'The Dance' – video on Vimeo and Youtube
[July 28, 2010] – Philip Larkin's 'The Dance' by The Holy Orders - digital single release
Could Philip Larkin have a No.1 hit single?
In an audacious attempt to get Philip Larkin to No.1 in the UK singles chart — and to make it the longest single to ever top the chart — 'The Dance' by The Holy Orders, from the new all night north CD, will be released as a digital download single on Larkin's birthday, 9 August. See the All Night North press-release for further details.
As stated in the press-release, the download price of 'The Dance', a 12 minutes and 46 seconds epic masterpiece, has been set as low as possible within the requirements for chart eligibility and the pricing structures of iTunes and Amazon. All proceeds made by All Night North and The Holy Orders will be donated to one of the UK's most topical and deserving charities, BLESMA (British Limbless Ex- Service Men's Association). We hope you will support this 'crazy scheme' of an idea, and download 'The Dance' on Larkin's birthday, 9 August.
To mark the release, The Holy Orders play a gig at Hull's New Adelphi Club on Wednesday 4 July, supported by fellow all night north bands Black and White Tango, and MyOneManBand. For further information on anything all night north related, please visit www.allnightnorth.co.uk
[June 4, 2010] – New Philip Larkin Society publicity cards
We now have a range of publicity cards (below) containing information about the Society and its activities. There are currently 4 designs, each with a different image of Larkin on the front and each containing different information related to the activities of the Society (including, for example, a Membership Application Form) on the reverse. The cards will be distributed to museums, galleries, tourist information organisations, etc.
The cards, which are postcard size, are available from the Society's Merchandising Officer, Andy Bagley, by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope. Those interested in obtaining the cards should email Andy in the first instance.
[May 23, 2010] – all night north - 12 new songs using Philip Larkin poems as lyrics.
All the tracks of the all night north album are now openly available to listen to freely on:
Each track is named after the title of the Larkin poem used as its lyrics:
'This Be The Verse'
'Home is so Sad'
'The School in August'
'Is it for now or for always'
'Continuing to Live'
The project has its own dedicated website at www.allnightnorth.co.uk, from which physical copies of the CD can be bought. The All Night North CDs will also be available at all night north, Philip Larkin Society and Larkin25 events and activities during this commemorative year. For those who prefer to by their music as digital downloads, the album will be available from Apple iTunes from 10 June 2010, the launch date of the album.
[January 18, 2010] – New Philip Larkin poster
The Society has now taken delivery of a consignment of Philip Larkin posters. Produced from a photograph by Anne James, the poster shows Larkin with his bicycle in 1964, at the time the 'Monitor' film was being shot.
The poster, costing £5.00 (including protective tube), will be available at the John White talk on 28 January (see the Events page). Details of how to order a copy will appear in the next issue of About Larkin and will also appear in due course on the OTHER section of our Shop page.
[January 3, 2010] – Larkin Statue Appeal on Youtube
Midas PR have put together a short video to publicize the Larkin Statue Appeal. The video can be viewed on Youtube at: