Tony Harrison published his first pamphlet of poems in 1964 and for over fifty years has been a prominent force in modern poetry.
His poetic range is truly far-reaching, from the intimate tenderness of family life and personal love, to war poems written from Bosnia and savage public outcries against politicians. In The Collected Poems, Harrison draws deeply both on classical tradition and on the vernacular of the street. Combining the private and the public in a way Harrison has made distinctly his own, and drawing on his working-class upbringing in Leeds, these are powerful poems for modern times.
This is the first complete paperback collection of one of Britain's most controversial and critically acclaimed poets.
'Tony Harrison is the greatest poet of the second half of the 20th century. . . He writes brilliantly about class, love and Britain' Daniel Radcliffe
'Harrison is a masterly technician, and the most fiery and indelible English poet of the age. This book is a vineyard on a volcano' Paul Farley
A revised edition of Tony Harrison's award-winning Selected Poems
This indispensable new selection of Tony Harrison's poems includes over sixty poems from his famous sonnet sequence The School of Eloquence and the remarkable long poem 'v.', a meditation in a vandalized Leeds graveyard which caused enormous controversy when it was broadcast on Channel 4 in 1987 and is now regarded as one of the key poems of the late twentieth century.
This substantially revised and updated edition now also features a generous selection of Harrison's most recent work, including the acclaimed poems he wrote for the Guardian on the Gulf War and then from the front line in the Bosnian War which won him the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry in 2007.
Selected Poems is a collection to be savoured by fans of Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Simon Armitage and Sophie Hannah.
'A voracious appetite for language. Brilliant, passionate, outrageous, abrasive, but also, as in the family sonnets, immeasurably tender' Harold Pinter
'In the front rank of contemporary British poets. Harrison's range is exhilarating, his clarity and technical mastery a sharp pleasure' Melvyn Bragg
'The poem "v." is the most outstanding social poem of the last twenty-five years. Seldom has a British poem of such personal intensity had such universal range' Martin Booth
'Poems written in a style which I feel I have all my life been waiting for' Stephen Spender
'A poet of great technical accomplishment whose work insists that it is speech rather than page-bound silence' Sean O'Brien, The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry
Tony Harrison was born in Leeds in 1937. His poetry includes The Loiners, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; v., which became a cause célèbre when broadcast on Channel 4 in 1987 and was broadcast again in full on BBC Radio 4 in 2013, and The Gaze of the Gorgon, which won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. He has written extensively for film, theatreand opera, producing work for the National Theatre, The Metropolitan Opera, the RSC, the BBC and Channel 4. He has received numerous awards including the inaugural PEN Pinter Prize in 2009, the European Prize for Literature in 2011, and most recently, the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2015. He lives in Newcastle.