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Talk to explore poet Philip Larkin’s links to Lichfield

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

A talk in Lichfield is set to explore the city’s link with acclaimed poet Philip Larkin.

Although Larkin, who died 25 years ago this year, is usually associated with Hull, his family roots are in Lichfield – with his mother and father burried in St Michael’s churchyard.

The man himself lived briefly in the city during the war when his family left Coventry after the blitz in 1940 and it was here that he wrote some of his first poetry.

His connections with the city will be explored by town clerk Peter Young at the Lichfield Guildhall on October 20. He explained:

“I came across Larkin when I was studying English at Hull in the seventies. With Larkin being the University Librarian his poetry was pretty much compulsory – and it intrigued me – even though I didn’t like it very much at the time.

“Later, when I came to Lichfield,  I discovered the Larkin connections, including a letter sent by Larkin to the Council, and that’s when my fascination and appreciation grew. So the talk will be about those connections with Lichfield, with a bit of my own commentary along the way.”

Documentation reveals that Larkin was not greatly enamoured with Lichfield – with his first letter from the city in December 1940 ending with the words “God, this place is dull’.

Peter added:

“Hopefully my talk about Larkin and Lichfield won’t be quite so dull!”

The talk is organised through Lichfield Speakers’ Corner group and will take place at the Guildhall at 7.30pm on October 20. Admission is free.

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