POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.
POETRY IN MOTION.

183.

POETRY IN MOTION.

Np. (London): PIM, nd. (1967). Lge. oblong 4to. Stapled green card wrps., with design printed in silver to upper cover. 15 leaves printed recto only.

A brochure published jointly by 13 poets inviting interested parties to book readings by them, individually or collectively, with an application form included at the back intended for mailing to "our secretary, Jan Falkiner" (a few years earlier the 17 year-old Falkiner [now Lady Falkiner] had co-founded a jazz club in Hereford with her sax-playing husband, Ed).

One page is devoted to each poet and prints a capsule biography and an (uncredited) portrait by Mal Dean.

The introduction sets out the poets' aims for the agency: "In 1965 more than 6,000 people packed the Royal Albert Hall to hear and celebrate poetry... To us this is intensely exciting. We want to work directly with our audience. We have founded this co-operative to simplify the machinery for arranging poetry readings and poetry tours." The group comprised Pete Brown, Spike Hawkins, Adrian Henri, Anselm Hollo, Mike Horovitz, Libby Houston, Alan Jackson, Roger McGough, Ted Milton, Adrian Mitchell, Jeff Nuttall, Brian Patten, and Tom Pickard. Libby Houston later recalled: "When Horovitz and Brown set about starting a reading agency, Poetry in Motion, forerunner of the London and National Poetry Secretariats, eyebrows were raised at me, the woman (apart from Stevie Smith, outside the heap), to run it. I felt the unfairness of the assumption but simply refused in the certainty of being incapable" (from 'On Being a Woman Poet', included in 'On Gender and Writing', ed. Michelene Wandor [London: Pandora, 1983]).

Near Fine.

Together with: i) 3pp. 'Progress Report' on Poet and City, the early working name for what became Poetry in Motion (c. January 1967). The report lists the poets invited to join ("Only one poet said definitely 'No' - Stevie Smith, who gave us reasonable reasons and wished us luck"), and discusses potential names for the organisation ("Bardmobile was too jokey/trendy"), the proposed brochure (which Mal Dean "has agreed to design"), advertisements, fees for readings, and the group's position ("we are not in the business of literary gang warfare"). It ends with an invitation to members to "send us 200 words of autobiography, plus glossy photo", and closes: "Try to attend the next meeting" on Sunday January 29th. A fourth half-sheet, pinned to the first, lists the addresses of the participating poets, two of whom (Harry Fainlight and Christopher Logue) subsequently dropped out.


ii) Poetry in Motion duplicated foolscap circular (following a "Meeting at Pete's [Brown] on 4/2/69") listing the names of various poets proposed by existing members for membership of PIM. Among them were Lee Harwood; Piero Heliczer; Ted Hughes; Basil Bunting; Tom Raworth; George Barker; Bob Cobbing; Bill Butler; and Carlyle Reedy. A holograph note at the top, probably in Jan Falkiner's hand, mentions an upcoming meeting at Heathfield girls' school in Harrow (5/3/69), and an attached sheet announces that "It is fairly likely that new PIM can be launched at Round House Negotiations in the air and everywhere" and that a "New brosher may be done for cost of paper only…" (which likely never materialised).

A rare group of documents exemplifying the belief in live poetry readings, a cause widely promoted by poets associated with the British Poetry Renaissance of the 1960s.

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