Tony Harrison

(b. 1937)

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(1937– ),

poet and translator, born in Leeds, educated at Leeds University. Memories of his working‐class childhood provide the material for much of his poetry; his works also reflect his travels in Africa, the Soviet Union, and America. His volumes include The Loiners (1970) and From ‘The School of Eloquence’ and Other Poems (1978). He has also written verse translations of Molière's The Misanthrope (1973), Racine's Phèdre (Phaedra Britannica, 1975), and the Oresteia (1981). Both his original works and his translations show a great facility in rhyme and a skilful adaptation of colloquial speech. Other volumes include V (1985), written during the miners' strike of 1984–5, Loving Memory (1987), Selected Poems (1984 and 1995), V and Other Poems (1990), A Cold Coming: Gulf War Poems (1992), The Gaze of the Gorgon (1992, Whitbread Award for Poetry), and Under the Clock (2005). Harrison is renowned for his independent voice and impassioned commentary on public affairs, and for his verse narratives for the theatre and film. These include V (1985; Channel 4, 1987), The Blasphemer's Banquet (1989, BBC), Black Daisies for the Bride (1993; Prix Italia, 1994), and The Shadow of Hiroshima and Other Film/Poems (1995, Channel 4).

Subjects: Literature.

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Works by Tony Harrison

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