Friday, 3 June 2011

Josephine Hart Has Died

Sad news.  Novelist and poetry lover Josephine Hart has died.  Hart, along with Daisy Goodwin and Neil Astley, would have to be described as three of the leading UK poetry activists, promoting poetry to the people through their events and publications.  Hart's events in London were big affairs, attended by the general public, with the poems read out by celebrities, mainly actors and rock stars.  While I never attended one of the events (as I don't think poems do well at the hands of celebrity readers usually) there is no doubt that her promotion of poetry touched a nerve and brought poetry to many.

Perhaps poetry shouldn't need celebs and glittering venues to lure in readers; but this is Britain in the age of media and celebrity, which her husband, Lord Saatchi, helped to invent. Anyway, that's a digression.  Hart's love of poetry and commitment to it was strong.  She was also, of course, a successful novelist.  Her biggest novel was her debut, twenty years ago, Damage, which was made into a movie with Jeremy Irons performing odd acrobatic sex; though OTT as a film, it was a hit and created quite a stir at the time.  Hart will be missed.
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