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The Alvarez GenerationThom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter$
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William Wootten

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789627947

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789627947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Violent Times: Anti-Movement Poetry in the Mid to Late 1950s

Violent Times: Anti-Movement Poetry in the Mid to Late 1950s

(p.19) Chapter Two Violent Times: Anti-Movement Poetry in the Mid to Late 1950s
The Alvarez Generation

William Wootten

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the creation of a poetry group in the 1950s, whose members included Ted Hughes, Philip Hobsbaum, Edward Lucie-Smith, Australian bookseller Peter Porter, and BBC producer George MacBeth. The Group may be considered a forerunner to the contemporary poetry workshop, or indeed the first proper poetry workshop in England. However, Group meetings had a distinct flavour that would make them unfamiliar to most who attend poetry workshops today. Not only was there the bearded and forbidding Hobsbaum in the chair and a heavy Leavisite aspect to proceedings, there was also the structure of the evening: its first half would concentrate on new work by one writer; this would then be followed by a coffee break, after which members could share work they particularly liked and, increasingly in later years, new poetry of their own. The Group also perpetuated ideas and an ambience as well as a social network that started in Oxford and Cambridge, and brought its members into contact with poets who had been very much outside both.

Keywords:   poets, poetry workshop, poetry groups, Ted Hughes, Philip Hobsbaum, Edward Lucie-Smith, Peter Porter, George MacBeth

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