Philip Hobsbaum (Philip Dennis Hobsbaum) Biography
(1932–2005), (Philip Dennis Hobsbaum), A Group Anthology, The Place's Fault, In Retreat
British poet and critic, born in London, educated at Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied under F. R. Leavis, and Sheffield University, where William Empson supervised his Ph.D. In 1962 he began his academic career at Queen's University, Belfast; in 1985 he commenced a professorship at Glasgow University. He was the founder of the Group in 1955 and, with Edward Lucie-Smith, edited A Group Anthology (1963). He convened a further writing group in Belfast during the 1960s, which stimulated the emergence of Ulster poetry; Seamus Heaney has recorded his gratitude for the ‘energy, generosity, belief in the community’ with which Hobsbaum encouraged him and others. His collections of poetry include The Place's Fault (1964), In Retreat (1966), Coming out Fighting (1969), and Women and Animals (1972). His work is notable for its accomplishment in combining traditional patterns of rhyme and metre with witty and conversationally candid accounts of personal experience. He also produced a number of verse satires of academic life, some of which display a Lawrentian invective against the repression of creative spontaneity he identifies in higher education. His works of criticism include the provocative Tradition and Experiment in English Poetry (1979) and A Reader's Guide to Robert Lowell (1988).