Makaris Collection

Scope and Content

Consists of an incomplete set of editions of the poetry publication Makaris as published by Durham University Literary Society between 1965 and 1971. Also includes a history of Makaris written by Peter and Margaret Lewis, the founders of the publication.

Administrative / Biographical History

Makaris was a poetry publication produced by Durham University Literary Society between 1965 and 1971. It was launched by Peter Lewis, Emeritus Reader in English at Durham University, and his wife Margaret Lewis who worked in the Registrar's section, as well as a number of Durham students who oversaw the selection of poems to be published, and helped to publicise and market the publication.

The magazine began as a single foolscap sheet printed on both sides. The first edition was dated 22 February 1965 and it was sold for 1d (pre-decimal penny). When possible, the society aimed to produce an issue every week during university terms, with an occasional anthology deovted to the best of Makaris. In 1968, the publication expanded in size and the price was initially raised to 3d, and subsequently reduced to 2d.

Most of the contributors to Makaris were students, but visiting poets who took part in Durham University Literary Society's programme of readings were asked to contribute to the publication. Established poets whose work appeared in Makaris included Alan Bold, Basil Bunting, Barry Cole, Tony Harrison, Lee Harwood, Seamus Heaney, Adrian Henri, George Hitchcock, Tony Jackson, Hugh MacDiarmid, Barry MacSweeney, Adrian Mitchell, David Morrison, Stuart Montgomery, Brian Patten, Jeff Nutall, Tom Pickard, Peter Redgrove, James Simmons, Ken Smith and Rosemary Tonks.

Conditions Governing Access


Access is open to bona fide researchers; appointment in advance and proof of identity required. Please see for further details.

Archivist's Note

This catalogue was created by Rachel Hill, Senior Archives Assistant at Newcastle University Special Collections in 2016.

Related Material

Peter and Margaret Lewis, the founders of Makaris are also the founders of the independent publisher Flambard Press. The archive of Flambard Press is also held at Newcastle University's Special Collections, and a catalogue of the material can be found here.

Material relating to Makaris is also held at Durham University Special Collections.