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The Midnight Letterbox
Selected Correspondence 1950 - 2010
Edited by James McGonigal and John Coyle
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Memoirs, Scottish
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (456 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2015)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Mar 2015)
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I am really a very Glasgow-loving root-clutching person, and the mechanics of travel fill me with angst, yet I seem to be meant or doomed or prodded to go to place after place, city after city (but cities I love in any case, all cities) [...] I’ve been round the Cape of Good Hope and down the Odessa Steps. I’ve seen the Book of Kells and the Isenheim Altarpiece and Beethoven’s ear-trumpet and Khalil Gibran’s birthplace and Lenin’s tomb. [...] I have seen the Red Sea and the Black Sea – both blue. What is it all for? Can you tell me that?
from a letter to Michael Schmidt, 2 April 1972.
One of the central figures of twentieth-century Scottish literature, Edwin Morgan was a prolific letter-writer. His correspondence, like his poetry, is wide-ranging, full of generosity and enthusiasm, and above all a testament to his lifelong commitment to exploring the possibilities of poetry. This selection of his letters, spanning Morgan’s full career as a teacher and writer, enables readers to track the development of his ideas, his friendships and his creative collaborations. At the same time it provides a superbly engaging portrait of a man with a boundless interest in the fast-changing world around him.
Awards won by Edwin Morgan Winner, 2000 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
Praise for Edwin Morgan 'Edwin Morgan's experimental and science fiction poems often imply joyful adventure, boundless optimism.'
Carol Rumens, The Guardian where 'A Little Catechism' was Poem of the Week
'distinctly and excitingly nonconformist [...] they stunningly convey the poet's love for Glasgow. The traditional structure is interjected with Scottish language and anecdotes, making it a thought-provoking read.'
'A broad celebration of one of the most lively and creative writers of his time'
Mike Ferguson, Stride Magazine
'For readers new to Morgan, it forms a perfect introduction, showcasing his fearless experimentation... For those who already know Morgan's work, this selection is a welcome romp of rediscovery. It offers a reminder that he masters every form - from sonnets to strict rhyme schemes with free rhythm to the disintegrating word curtains of some of his early concrete poems - and gilds them all with the humour and humanity that infuse his own effervescent voice.... He never shrinks from the darkness but the shimmering beauty of his words somehow makes it more bearable.'
Fiona Rintoul, The Herald
'Thank God, thank whatever all-seeing quick-witted deity you like, we have Edwin Morgan to show us how to live, and keep living..."pleasure" is nowhere strong enough to convey the joyous energy of his work.'
'Edwin Morgan's translation of twenty-five poems into Scots, now reissued after almost half a century, finesses one difficulty by substituting another. Wi Haill Voice gives Mayakovsky a shout from the streets without making him a Dickensian exercised in dialect - Scots provides the necessary sense of estrangement.'
William Logan, The New Criterion
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