December 15, 2008

Trove of Larkin readings found


Philip Larkin outside the Hull University library

Philip Larkin outside the Hull University library

After sitting in a garage for nearly thirty years, a newly discovered trove of recorded readings by Philip Larkin are about to be released to the public by Faber & Faber, according to a report by Allison Flood for The Guardian. Faber’s audio editor, Henry Volans, says “He’s a good reader and I don’t think that’s true of all poets, but the context means he sounds relaxed. He also sounds of his time – he’s got a smart, proper accent, but the humour comes through. I think it’s terrific.” Volans says the release is being called The Sunday Sessions because they were recorded on a weekly basis after Larkin had Sunday lunch at the home of his friend John Weeks, a sound engineer who worked at Hull University, where Larkin taught. The recordings were made in Weeks’ garage, and the tapes were forgtten until Weeks’ son found them when he was cleaing out the garage.

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.