Mick Imlah

Mick Imlah, who died in 2009, published two collections of poetry, Birthmarks (1988) and The Lost Leader (2008), which won the Forward Prize. He edited the New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse with Robert Crawford.

Poem: ‘Maritime (1934-67)’

Mick Imlah, 7 February 2002

With a few soft words Her Majesty Christened the liner built as ‘504’: ‘I name this ship – Myself. God bless . . .’

The towering masterpiece of the Depression, She rose from the not-so-bonny Bank of Clyde (Bombed to a pit for its pains in ’41).

Meanwhile, John Masefield wrote a handsome poem (‘Shredding a trackway like a mile of snow...

Poem: ‘Cockney’

Mick Imlah, 3 September 1987

How heightened the taste! – of champagne at the piano; of little side-kisses to tickle the fancy At the party to mark our sarcastic account of the overblown Mass of the Masses by Finzi (An aristocrat who betrayed what he stood for and set up in Bow with his matchgirl fiancée);

Moreover, the skit I had chosen to grace the occasion (‘My Way – in the Setting for Tuba by...


Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

‘Where do you come from?’ asks one of the most important questions in contemporary poetry – where’s home? Answering the pulls and torsions of that question produces much...

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