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Adrian Mitchell Has Died

Sad news. The great British poet Adrian Mitchell has died - the "shadow poet laureate". Mitchell was a commited anti-war activist, a brilliant poet and performer, and an exceptionally warm and generous man. He donated his work to both my 100 Poets Against The War anthology, and also Oxfam CD project. I was very sad to learn of his death when I turned on BBC radio this morning. I had thought to stop blogging until January - as per my last post - but the death of such a poet demanded I return. He wrote a final poem a few days back - not knowing its mischievous title would be so oddly apt - and it is delightful - ending so movingly, so playfully. The British poetry world is poorer now that its leading moral compass is gone - though his work remains, to inspire.

Comments

Dave King said…
That has really saddened me. I am truly sory to hear it.

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With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

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I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.