Papers relating to Poetry magazines

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This collection relates to people involved with the production of poetry magazines and their organisation during the 1950s, including the poets/editors Dannie Abse, Robert Conquest, George Hartley, Anthony Thwaite and Howard Sergeant, and the magazines 'Poetry and Poverty', 'Listen', 'Trio' and 'Outposts'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Conquest (1917- ) is a poet and novelist born at Great Malvern in Worcestershire. He was educated at Winchester School, Grenoble and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read politics, economics and philosophy. He served in the army during the second world war and joined the Foreign Office in 1946. He left in 1956 to become a freelance writer and part-time academic. His first volume of verse came out in 1955 and in 1956 he produced a famous anthology of British poetry, New Lines, which included pieces by Philip Larkin, Thomas Gunn and Kingsley Amis. Like these poets, Conquest was part of what was loosely termed 'the Movement'. In 1964 he was senior fellow at Columbia University's Russian Institute and became editor of an important series of Russian studies. In 1965 he collaborated with Kingsley Amis on The Egyptologists, a satirical novel, and through the 1960s he was literary editor of the Spectator. He held several fellowships in America including a research associateship at Harvard University 1982-3.

Anthony Thwaite studied at Christ Church Oxford and while there edited Isis and co-edited Trio and Oxford Poetry 1954. From 1955 to 1957 he was Visiting Lecturer in English Literature at Tokyo University. On his return to England he became a producer of features for the BBC Third Programme and then, from 1962 to 1965 was literary editor of the Listener. From 1965 to 1967 he was Assistant Professor of English at the University of Libya, Benghazi. Later he became editor of The New Statesman, coeditor of Encounter and Director of Andre Deutsch Ltd. He had a sabbatical year as writer in residence at the University of East Anglia in 1972. Thwaite published his first book of poems with the Fantasy Press in 1953 and his second, Home Truths, with the Marvell Press two years after Philip Larkin's The Less Deceived in 1957. He is literary executor of the estate of Philip Larkin, for whom he produced Larkin at Sixty (1982), later editing The Collected Poems (1988) and Selected Letters (1992).

Listen was a poetry magazine established by George and Jean Hartley in Hessle, outside Hull, in late 1953. The other typescript material is about similar ventures into the publication of small poetry magazines.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Purchased from Alan Hancox, 101 Montpellier St., Cheltenham in January 1970

Related Material

Papers of Anthony Thwaite [U DP155]

Papers of Howard Sergeant [U DSG]

Archives of the poetry magazines 'Listen' [U DX73], 'New Review' [U DP168], 'Phoenix' [U DP162], 'Reality Studios' [U DRS] and 'Wave' [U DP158]