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Michael Horovitz Biography

(1935– ), New Departures, Declaration, Nude Lines for Barking

British poet, born in Frankfurt, Germany; he grew up in London, and was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1959 he founded New Departures. His desire to reinstate poetry as a popular art form gave rise to Live New Departures, a touring company combining poetry with musical and theatrical activities. His early publications include Declaration (1963), Nude Lines for Barking (1965), and High Notes from when I Was Rolling in Moss (1966). His stated desire to unite ‘pre-Renaissance inspirations with contemporary fact’ is demonstrated in his work's fusions of a celebratory lyricism with socio-political critiques. During the 1960s he was central to the emergence of underground poetry and edited the popular and controversial anthology Children of Albion: Poetry of the ‘Underground’ in Britain (1969). His most highly regarded works are The Wolverhampton Wanderer (1971) and Midsummer Morning Jog (1985, with illustrations by Peter Blake); the discursive style of these long poems modulates energetically between wide-ranging contemplation and incisively polemical elements. His most substantial collections include Growing Up: Selected Poems and Pictures 1951–1979 (1979) and Wordsounds and Sightlines: New and Selected Poems (1994). Among his other works are his experimental combinations of textual and graphic elements in Bop Paintings, Collages, Drawings & Picture-Poems (1989) and a further anthology entitled Grandchildren of Albion (1992), which contains a wide range of verse by younger British poets.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Honest Ulsterman to Douglas Hyde Biography