Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion

Infobox Writer

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name = Andrew Motion
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birthdate = birth date and age|1952|10|26|df=y
birthplace = London, England
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occupation = Poet
movement =
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Andrew Motion, FRSL, (born 26 October 1952) is an English poet, novelist and biographer, who is the current Poet Laureate in the United Kingdom.

Early life and education

Raised in Stisted near Braintree in Essex, he was educated at Radley College. When he was 17, his mother had a riding accident and spent the next nine years in and out of a coma before she died. In the years that followed, he read English at University College, Oxford, and studied the poetry of Edward Thomas for his MLitt. degree. Motion has said that he tried to keep his memory of his mother alive through poetry.

Andrew Motion is a member of the Arts Council of England and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Beside the prizes mentioned above, he has won the Arvon/Observer Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London.

His 1993 biography of Philip Larkin was responsible for bringing about a substantial revision of Larkin's reputation.

Poet laureate

Motion was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999, following the death of the previous incumbent, Ted Hughes. In a break with tradition, which held that the laureate held the post for life with a yearly stipend of £100 and a vat of wine, Motion will hold the post only until 2009, but in return receives an increased yearly fee of £5000. The appointment of Motion met with criticism from some quarters [cite web|title=Andrew Motion to be Poet Laureate|url=|publisher=The Guardian|date=1999-05-19|accessdate=2008-09-10] . The Nobel Prize winning Northern Irish poet and translator Seamus Heaney did not wish to be considered for the post. Motion himself has remarked that he finds some of the duties attendant to the post of poet laureate difficult and onerous and that the appointment has been "very, very damaging to [his] work". [cite web|title= Laureate bemoans 'thankless' job|url=|publisher=BBC News Online|date=2008-09-10|accessdate=2008-09-10. Motion discusses the Laureateship's effects on his writing in an interview in "The Creative Environments: Authors at Work", ed. Ceri Sullivan and Graeme Harper (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2009)] .

Other works

In 2003, Motion wrote a poem in protest at Invasion of Iraq called [ "Regime Change;"] the poem is told from the third person point of view, showing a speech made by Death in the streets of Iraq. [ [ BBC News: "Poet laureate writes Iraq lament"] ]

In 2005 he helped to bring online [ The Poetry Archive] containing both historic and contemporary recordings of poets reciting their own work.

In February 2008 he was commissioned to write a poem in the honour of Harry Patch, who is the last suriviving Tommy to have fought in World War I. It was first read at a special event at the Bishop's Palace in Wells where it was received by Harry Patch. [cite web|title=Poem honours WWI veteran aged 109|url=|publisher=BBC News Online|date=2008-03-07|accessdate=2008-03-07]

In July 2008 he was appointed to the position of Chairman of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. [ [ DCMS: "Andrew Motion appointed new Chair of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council"] ]


* 1975: won the Newdigate prize for Oxford undergraduate poetry
* 1976: further poetry published
* 1976 - 1980: taught English at the University of Hull
* 1980 - 1982: edited the "Poetry Review"
* 1981: wins Arvon Foundation's International Poetry Competition with "The Letter"
* 1982: edits, with Blake Morrison, the "Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry"
* 1982 - 1989: Editorial Director and Poetry Editor at Chatto & Windus
* 1986: "The Lamberts" wins the Somerset Maugham Award
* 1989: Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia
* 1994: "Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life" wins the Whitbread Prize for Biography
* 1999: appointed Poet Laureate for ten years only
* 2003: appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London


Note: this list is not complete
* 1972 "Goodnestone : a sequence" (a series of 18 untitled poems)
* 1978 "The Pleasure Steamers" - poetry
* 1981 "Independence" - poetry
* 1986 "Elizabeth Bishop (Chatterton Lectures on an English Poet)"
* 1987 "Natural Causes" - poetry
* 1988 "Philip Larkin (Contemporary Writers)"
* 1989 "The Pale Companion" - fiction
* 1992 "Famous for the Creatures"
* 1993 "Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life" (biography)
* 1995 "The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit" (biography)
* 1995 "The Price of Everything"
* 1997 "Salt Water" - poetry
* 1998 "Keats" (biography)
* 1998 "Take 20"
* 1998 "Sarah Raphael: Strip!"
* 1999 "Selected Poems 1976-1997"
* 1999 "Babel"
* 2000 "Wainewright the Poisoner: The Confessions of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright" (biographical novel)
* 2002 "Public Property" (poetry)
* 2003 "The Invention of Dr Cake"
* 2005 "Spring Wedding" (poem in honour of the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles)
* 2007 "The Five Acts of Harry Patch" (poetry)

Dates unclear:
* "Secret narratives"
* "Dangerous play: poems, 1974-1984"
* "Love in a life"
* "Firsthand"

Edited works / Introductions:
* "Thomas Hardy: Selected Poems" (Everyman Library) (Editor)
* 1994 "New Writing 3" by Andrew Motion, Candice Rodd (Editor) (reprinted '94)
* 1981 "Poetry of Edward Thomas"
* "Verses of the Poets Laureate: From John Dryden to Andrew Motion" by Hilary Laurie (Compiler), Andrew Motion (Introduction) (Paperback - September 1999)
* 1982 "The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry" by Ed. Blake Morrison and Andrew Motion
* 1981 "Selected Poems: William Barnes" (Penguin Classics) Andrew Motion (Editor)
* "Here to Eternity: An Anthology of Poetry" by Andrew Motion (Editor)
* "Paper Scissors Stone: New Writing from the MA in Creative Writing at UEA" by Andrew Motion (Introduction) (Paperback)
* "May Anthology 2002 Poetry and Prose" by Andrew Motion (Editor), Nick Cave (Editor) (Paperback)
* "The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction & Poetry" by Julia Bell (Editor), Andrew Motion (Foreword)
* The Mays


External links

* [ An Elegy to HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother] (see Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon)—at BBC News Online.
* [ Arvon Foundation International Poetry Competition]
* [ IMDb]

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