Hull Poets - Letters to Tony F. Griffin

Scope and Content

Correspondence received by Tony F. Griffin from a number of poets whose work was featured in the Hull Poets poetry anthology 'A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull' edited by Douglas Dunn in 1982.

Correspondence includes letters, postcards, Christmas cards and a few enclosures of poems. Relates mainly to discussion and comments on local literary figures, works, events and publishers. Also contains references to some personal matters and current affairs.

Correspondents as follows: Peter Didsbury [U DP210/1]; Tony [Flynn] [U DP210/2]; Sean O'Brien [U DP210/3]; Genny Rahtz [U DP210/4]; Tony [Petch] [U DP210/5]; Ian Gregson [U DP210/6]; Margot K. Juby [U DP210/7]; Douglas Dunn [U DP210/8]; Alan Plater [U DP210/9]; George [?] [U DP210/10].

Note that this collection also contains a published copy of 'A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull' (1982) [U DP210/11].

Administrative / Biographical History

During the 1970s and early 1980s there was a group of poets active in Hull that became known as 'the Hull Poets' in literary circles. The group were involved in poetry readings in the city, workshops at the University of Hull and could be found meeting in The Polar Bear on Spring Bank.

The Hull poetry magazine 'Bete Noire' (running from 1986 to 1996) was edited by John Osbourne and featured work and interviews with members of the groups. In 1982 Douglas Dunn edited a collection of their work which was published by Bloodaxe Books under the titled 'A Rumoured City - New Poets From Hull'.

The Hull Poets included Tony F. Griffin, Peter Didsbury, Tony Flynn, Sean O'Brien, Genny Rahtz, Tony Petch, Ian Gregson and Margot K. Juby. Others associated with the group included Douglas Dunn, Alan Plater, George Kendrick, Julian Smith, Frank Redpath and John Osborne.

Tony F. Griffin was born 1949 in Richmond, Surrey. He lived predominantly in Hull and Leeds. He opened and ran a book shop in Leeds where he also established a series of poetry readings and was involved in Flux Gallery Press. His first major collection of poetry was 'Cider Days' (1990) and his second major book was titled 'Kavita' (2003). A festschrift titled 'Born Into An Unquiet' edited by Ian Parks was published to mark his 60th birthday [U DP210/1-11].

Peter Didsbury was born 1946 in Fleetwood, Lancashire. He lived most of his life in Hull where he worked as an archaeologist and creative writing tutor. In 1989 he was awarded the Cholmondeley Award [U DP210/1].

Tony Flynn was born 1951 in Lancashire. After graduating from the universities of Hull and Leicester he became a social worker in Walsall. His collections of poetry include 'A Strange Routine' (1980) and 'Body Politic' (1992). [U DP210/2].

Sean O'Brien was born 1952 in London. He grew-up in Hull before studying in Cambridge and has lived in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1990. He is a poet, critic and playwright and has won numerous prizes including the Cholmondeley Award (1988) and the T. S. Eliot Prize (2007) [U DP210/3].

Genny, or Gentian, Rahtz is a poet and creative writer who spent much of her time in Yorkshire, particularly Hull and York. She worked for the Open University for many years and currently works in Oxford as a mindfullness instructor. Her poetry collections include 'Sky Burial' (2010) [U DP210/4].

Tony Petch is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor of Proof magazine. He worked at the University of Lincoln Hull campus and has been a member of the Hull Mutiny Poets. He has been published in various magazines such as iota, Inkshed, Poetry Review and Stoneferry Review, as well as in Ragged Raven anthologies. His first collection of poetry 'Vanishing Point' was published by Ragged Raven in 2003. [U DP210/5].

Ian Gregson, born 1953 in Manchester, is a novelist and poet. He was educated at Oxford University and completed a PhD at the University of Hull. He is a professor in the School of English at Bangor University. Some of his publications include 'Not Tonight Neil', 'How We Met' and 'Call Centre Love Song'. He has been editor of Salt Wales and has run the North Wales-Bangor University Visiting Poets Series. He has also edited a collection of Hull poets in Old City, New Rumours alongside Carol Rumens (2010) [U DP210/6].

Margot K. Juby was born 1956 in King's Lynn, Norfolk. She studied at the University of Hull and remained there upon graduating, living in both Hull and Cottingham. Her collections of published poetry include 'Femme Fatale', 'Pandora's Box', 'Grey', 'The Tactful Foetus', and 'Erl King's Bride'. She was involved in the local poetry publishing house Braquemard. [U DP210/7].

Douglas Dunn was born 1942 in Inchinnan, Scotland. He was a student at the University of Hull and after graduation in 1969 he worked as an assistant librarian at the Brynmor Jones Library for two years. He was a Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Hull and remained in the city until 1981. His collections of poetry from his time in Hull include 'Terry Street' (1969), 'The Happier Life' (1972), 'Love or Nothing' (1974), 'Barbarians' (1979) and 'St Kilda's Parliament' (1981) [U DP210/8].

Alan Plater was born 1935 in Jarrow and grew up in Hull. A screenwriter and playwright, he originally trained as an architect. He died in 2010 aged 75 [U DP210/9].

George Kendrick was born 1935 in Hull where he also lived. His best known collection of poems was published in 1974 and was titled 'Bicycle tyre in a tall tree: poems' [U DP210/10].


Original order retained, arranged by correspondent

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Purchased from Tony F. Griffin in August 2006

Related Material

Typescript copy of 'A Rumoured City: New Poets from Hull' [U DPL2/1/57/9]

Douglas Dunn Papers [Ref U DDD]

Letters to Tony Griffin from Douglas Dunn and other Poets, 1974-1990 [Ref U DP183]

Letters from Douglas Dunn to Tony Flynn, 1974-1992 [Ref U DP189]

Letters from Douglas Dunn to Peter Didsbury, 1978-1993 [Ref U DP184]

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