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City of culture: Philip Larkin is just one of Hull's legion of poets

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Philip Larkin might have been impressed at the news that Hull will be the next city of culture … or perhaps he would have sent a sarcastic letter about it to his friend Kingsley Amis. 

Hull will take over from Derry, the current city of culture, in 2017, it was announced on Wednesday. It beat Dundee, Leicester, and Swansea Bay, the old stamping ground of Dylan Thomas.

Larkin was the university librarian in Hull for three decades, and there is now a statue of him at the city’s Paragon station.

But an article in the Daily Telegraph points out that Hull has no need to rest on its laurels with Larkin … and names a host of other poets, including Andrew Marvell, Stevie Smith, Sean O’Brien, Carol Rumens, Christopher Reid, Andrew Motion, Tom Paulin, and Douglas Dunn, with links to the city, a place that used to have the reputation of being somewhere that many people always meant to visit, but somehow never quite got around to.

Hull’s culture campaign video emphasised the city’s ‘Golden Rules’: “Don’t go thinking you’re something you’re not; don’t go thinking that you’re better than anybody else, or that anybody else is better than you, and don’t shout about it, get on with it.”

Words that the city's football fans should bear in mind. Last Saturday, Hull City fans were apparently chanting at visiting Crystal place supporters: "You're only here for the culture." Palace won 1-0.  





◄ Carol Ann Duffy hails poetry's 'wonderful evening' at palace

Cheer up, Swansea! Dylan Thomas centenary festival is launched ►

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