Press Release: 20 June 2006

Peter Porter: Under the Influence of Matthew Arnold and Arthur Hugh Clough

On Thursday 20 July 2006, The Poetry Society, in association with the London Review of Books, continue their Under The Influence series with Peter Porter reading from his own work and that of Matthew Arnold and Arthur Hugh Clough.

We are also used to reading contemporary poets in relation to earlier twentieth-century poets, but what about further back? One of the great strengths of contemporary poetry in English is its relation to English poets right the way back through the tradition. In Under the Influence living poets will share the event with a pre-1900 colleague who influenced their work.

Peter Porter was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1929 and moved to London in 1951. His first collection of poetry, Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, was published in 1961. The Cost of Seriousness (1978), regarded by many critics as his best work, was written in 1974. Collected Poems (1983) won the Duff Cooper Prize and The Automatic Oracle (1987) won the Whitbread Poetry Award in 1988. His most recent collection Afterburner (2004) was shortlisted for the 2004 TS Eliot Prize. He was awarded the Gold Medal for Australian Literature in 1990. and in 2001 he was Poet in Residence at the Royal Albert Hall for the 'Proms'.

Peter Porter's collection of poems, Max is Missing, was published in 2001 and won the 2002 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection). In 2001 he returned to Melbourne for the premiere of The Voice of Love, a song cycle with words by Peter Porter and music by the British composer Nicholas Maw. He was awarded the 2002 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

Under the Influence continues throughout 2006 with the following readings:

  • 21 September: Helen Dunmore under the influence of Keats
  • 23 November: Ruth Padel under the influence of Tennyson

-Ends -

Notes to Editors

  • All events are held at London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL.
  • Tickets are £10 (£5 LRB subscribers, Poetry Society members and concs) Season ticket for all five events: £45 (£20 LRB subscribers, Poetry Society members and concessions). Box Office 0207 420 9895.
  • All events start at 7pm

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