Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Mick Imlah (1956-2009)

Others have already said it much better than I could, but it's desperately sad to hear of the death of Mick Imlah at the age of 52. He'd been suffering from Motor Neurone disease for some time.

Last year's collection The Lost Leader had attracted all sorts of critical plaudits, but he had spent much of the 20 years between it and his debut collection as a literary journalist and editor, most notably editing Poetry Review and, later, the Times Literary Supplement. Never high profile, but working quietly and selflessly to promote the work of other poets.

He was one of the nominees for the TS Eliot Prize, the winner of which was announced last night. What's happened really puts prizes in perspective, of course, but I suspect he'd have been pleased that the judges plumped for a younger poet, Jen Hadfield, whose Nigh-No-Place is really superb.

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