Michael Murphy and Matt Simpson: a celebration at the Bluecoat

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A celebration of the lives of two Liverpool-based poets is being staged on 16 October when Gwyneth Lewis, John Lucas, Maurice Riordan, Lawrence Sail and George Szirtes present a critical tribute of verse by Michael Murphy and Matt Simpson at Liverpool’s Bluecoat at 3pm.  

Liverpool-born Murphy produced much-admired poetry of great intensity, even while suffering from a brain tumour. He studied under the tutelage of Matt Simpson and his critical work includes a study of George Garrett, a Liverpool seaman and writer of the 1920s and works on Joyce and Proust. In 2001 he won the Geoffrey Dearmer prize for New Poet of the Year and went on to publish three books of poetry, all from Shoestring Press: After Attila, Elsewhere and Allotments. In 2006 Murphy became a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.  He died in 2009 aged 43.
Matt Simpson was a poet, teacher and critic.  His love of Liverpool is at the heart of all his work. Simpson was born in Bootle in 1936, the son of a merchant seaman who, though often absent, is also a constant presence in his poetry.  Simpson published six collections and his poems for children were represented in over 100 anthologies.  Simpson died in 2009 shortly after Michael Murphy.
The event, from 3-5 pm at the Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, is part of Liverpool’s Chapter and Verse Literature Festival, and will launch the publication of Collected Poems from both Murphy and Simpson, published by Shoestring Press. Tickets: £2. Tickets and information 0151 702 5324

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