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Home Thoughts

Authors: James Kirkup

Published by Red Squirrel Press

ISBN: 9781906700454

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Home Thoughts is a collection of poems by the prolific poet and translator James Kirkup, who was born in South Shields in 1918. They pay homage to his hometown and reflect on his childhood as they are based on images of South Shields and the surrounding area.

During their correspondence over the last ten years, Dorothy Fleet sent many local images to James and they invariably inspired a poem. James Kirkup’s wish to have these poems published is now fulfilled with the assistance and support of Dorothy Fleet, Hildred Whale and South Tyneside Libraries.

The poems are accompanied with paintings by local artists Ron Thornton, John Harvey, Arnold Keedy, Martin Woods and the late Tom Finch and Ken Hogg. Home Thoughts also features photographs with kind permission of South Tyneside Council taken by David Whale, Keith Bardwell, Tony Cutter and John Moore together with photographs by local photographer and film maker, Gary Wilkinson.

James Kirkup’s work included many poetry collections, five volumes of autobiography and over a hundred monographs of original work and translations. His skill as a writer of haiku and tanka was internationally acknowledged. He became the UK’s first poet-in-residence when he took up the post of Gregory Poetry Fellow at Leeds University in 1950 and became a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1962.

Amongst his honours, James Kirkup held the Atlantic Award for Literature from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1950, he won the Japan P.E.N. Club Prize for Poetry in 1965 and the Scott-Moncrieff Prize for Translation in 1992.

James Kirkup sadly died on 10 May 2009; with his mantra ‘A poem a day keeps the doctor away’ he continued to write until the end.
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