March 19, 2014

Poet Hugo Williams seeks kidney donor



The poet Hugo Williams, whose last collection, Dear Room, was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Book Award

A campaign is under way to find a new kidney for the T.S. Eliot Prize-winning poet, Hugo Williams. Williams, who has published numerous poetry collections over a long career, has been on dialysis for three years. However his health has recently deteriorated and he now requires a live donor to donate a kidney that will save his life.

His family has begun a Facebook campaign with an aim to find this donor. The Facebook page’s description reads:

“My husband Hugo has been on dialysis for 3 years and his health has deteriorated dramatically. If he gets worse he will not be fit enough for a transplant.”

The Facebook page has become a place for family, friends, and even perfect strangers to share their support, with the hope that, if enough people like and share the page, a viable donor will be found in time. The hashtag #teamhugo is also being used to spread the news on Twitter. Heywood Hill bookshop sent a newsletter to its customers with news of the appeal, which also included a comment from his daughter, Murphy, who spoke about how heartened she had been by the response to the campaign. She added, “But we are still looking for the one angel who will make the miracle happen.”

Last weekend, the Guardian chose Williams’s poem “Diality” as its Saturday Poem. In it, Williams describes the false confidence dialysis gives its patient:

Dialysis is bad for you.

It takes you by the hand,

but it doesn’t lead you anywhere.

The shock of remembering,

having forgotten for a second.

You can find out more about the “Help Hugo Williams, Poet, Find a Kidney” campaign here.


Zeljka Marosevic is the managing director of Melville House UK.