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Damian Grant

Damian Grant a senior lecturer in English at the University of Manchester is the author of Realism and of a study of Tobias Smollett.

Douglas Dunn’s Selected Poems includes the greater part of his published poems, from Terry Street (published in 1969, and reissued with this selection) through four more volumes to the widely acclaimed Elegies (1985). Terry Street and the two following volumes, The Happier Life and Love or Nothing, were well received as plain unvarnished poems of Northern suburbia: and now the inventory of working-class clothes, foods and pastimes has a certain period interest. This is the beginning of the end of that culture mourned by Jeremy Seabrook among others:

Stalker & Co

Damian Grant, 20 November 1986

In an article on Arthur Koestler written in 1944, George Orwell suggested that the lack of imaginative depth in English political fictions, when these are compared with works of European origin, may be due to the fact that the English simply lack any experience of the totalitarian state: ‘The special world created by secret-police forces, censorship of opinion, torture and frame-up trials is, of course, known about and to some extent disapproved of, but it has made very little emotional impact.’ Forty years on, one wonders whether Orwell would have found his compatriots quite so effectively disqualified in this respect. Recent events in the northern part of this kingdom give rise to serious anxieties about the integrity and accountability of our Police Forces. It is not surprising that Geoff Newman’s play Operation Bad Apple, based upon the thwarted Countryman inquiry into corruption within the Metropolitan Police, is currently enjoying a successful run (to appalled audiences) at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre.

Letter

Duff Poetry

11 October 1990

I know that a travesty and a transvestite tumble out of the same bed, but Danny Karlin’s hairy-legged attempt to pee on Fiona Pitt-Kethley’s feet (Letters, 8 November) can’t be let pass. There’s none so deaf as those that won’t hear. I suspect that Karlin’s ‘argument’ against Pitt-Kethley’s poems actually works the other way round: that is, because...
Letter

Folk Hero

3 March 1988

SIR: One was grateful for Gabrielle Cox’s well-informed review of the Stalker saga which questioned the false consolation to be derived from accepting the ‘whiter than white’ John Stalker created in curious collusion between his own and the public imagination. John Stalker was the victim of an official cover-up in Northern Ireland, which disrupted both his professional and personal...
Letter

Stalker & Co

20 November 1986

SIR: I had been going to say, in response to Mr Davies (Letters, 18 December 1986), that he overlooked one of the main points in my article about the parallel cases of Mr Stalker and the Manchester students: that I did consider Mr Stalker responsible, as Deputy Chief Constable, for any breach of discipline by officers of the Greater Manchester Police; and that I did deplore his refusal to take complaints...
Letter
SIR:Craig Raine’s quarrel doesn’t seem aSubject fit for terza rima:Still less to brag about in buskinCourtesy of Alex Pushkin.Apollonian fires and fettersAre out of place in readers’ letters.Brash Hudibrastics better fitTo tell him: put a sock in it!

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