Papers of John Fairfax

Scope and Content

This small literary collection contains: three notebooks containing poem drafts and rough notes, with enclosed ms and ts copies 1972-1995; two files of personal correspondence, including from John Moat, 1964-1988; one portfolio of five 'poem posters' John Fairfax and Ken Turner n.d. [1980s]; one audio cassette of songs Spindrift set to the words of John Moat and John Fairfax, performed by Mike Campbell Cole and Andrew Pratten, Phoenix Press (Music): Newbury, Berkshire, 1981.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Fairfax (1930- ) is a writer educated in Devon who has retained strong links with the county throughout his writing career. Nephew of George Barker, he has a particular interest in installation art and poetry. Together with his life-long friend and fellow poet John Moat, he is also the co-founder of the Arvon Foundation. The first week-long creative writing course was held for Devon schoolchildren in 1968, with Ted Hughes (Poet Laureate) attending as guest reader. The Foundation now runs residential creative writing courses at four centres throughout the United Kingdom.

Publications of John Fairfax include: The way to write: a complete guide to the basic skills of good writing (co-written with John Moat, and with a foreword by Ted Hughes) (1981), Creative Writing (1989), Frontier of going: an anthology of space poetry (selected and with an introduction by John Fairfax) (1969), Stop and listen: an anthology of thirteen living poets (compiled by John Fairfax) (1969), The fifth horseman of the apocalypse (1969), One hundred poems (1992), Bone harvest done poems (1980), Horizons (ed.) (1971), This I say: twelve poems (1966), Wild Children (1985) and Zuihitsu poetic journal and jottings (1996).


As arranged by the creator.

Access Information

Usual EUL arrangements apply.


Listed by Charlotte Berry, Archivist, 18 Feb 2004, and encoded into EAD 2 June 2004.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Purchased by the Library in 2003.

Related Material

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