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The Midnight Letterbox

Selected Correspondence 1950 - 2010

Edwin Morgan

Edited by James McGonigal and John Coyle

Image of cover of Morgan's Selected Letters
RRP: GBP 19.99
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784100 79 7
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Memoirs, Scottish
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: March 2015
216 x 135 x 24 mm
456 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • 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.
    Edwin Morgan
    Edwin Morgan (1920-2010) was born in Glasgow. He served with the RAMC in the Middle East during World War II. He became lecturer in English at the University of Glasgow, where he had studied, and retired as titular Professor in 1980. He was Glasgow's first Poet Laureate and from 2004 until ... read more
    James McGonigal
    James McGonigal was Professor of English in Education at the University of Glasgow. His Edwin Morgan biography was the Saltire Scottish Research Book of the Year. ... read more
    John Coyle
    Dr John Coyle is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow, where he specialises in comparative literature and the twentieth-century novel. His main research interests lie in the field of modernist and postmodernist literature from an international perspective. He has published articles on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alain-Fournier, Proust ... read more
    Awards won by Edwin Morgan Winner, 2000 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
    Praise for Edwin Morgan '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.'

    Scottish Field

      '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.'

    Kathleen Jamie 

    'Edwin Morgan's translation of twent-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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