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Release date:
May 2, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or

Emory University Acquires Papers of British Poet Tom Paulin

The Robert W. Woodruff Library of Emory University has acquired the literary archive of the distinguished British poet and critic Tom Paulin. The materials include manuscript drafts of all of Paulin’s poetry and criticism, photographs, and personal correspondence, in addition to letters from fellow poets Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon and the late Ted Hughes.

"Tom Paulin already is a noted poet and critic, and will have a distinguished future career. Adding his papers to our research collection is in keeping with building a living archive of writers in their prime," says Stephen Enniss, curator of literary collections for Emory's Woodruff Library.

Paulin's literary archive is the most recent addition to the library's extensive collection of Irish and British literary manuscripts which include, among others, the papers of poets Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon, and the late English poet laureate, Ted Hughes. The acquisition will give Emory first option on Paulin's future literary materials.

A year ago, Paulin was awarded a three-year grant from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts to allow him to experiment with free verse. He was the only creative writer to be nominated for that first round of awards funded by National Lottery proceeds.

"He is unusual among modern poets in that he is both lyrically interesting and highly intelligent," said Poet Laureate Andrew Motion in The Observer when the grant was announced.

Born in Leeds, Paulin spent his early years in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and later studied at Hull University and at Lincoln College, Oxford. In 1972 he was co-founder, with Brian Friel and Seamus Heaney, of the Field Day Theatre Company. He has taught at the University of Nottingham, and currently is a lecturer in English at Hertford College, Oxford. Paulin also is host of the BBC’s book program, Late Review.

Paulin has been described as "one of the most interesting of an important group of Ulster poets whose work has been published against the background of political violence in Northern Ireland." His poetry has been collected in a number of volumes: A State of Justice (Poetry Book Society Choice) (Faber and Faber, 1977); The Strange Museum (Faber and Faber, 1980); Liberty Tree (Faber and Faber, 1983); Fivemiletown (Faber and Faber, 1987); Selected Poems, 1972-1990 (Faber and Faber, 1993); and The Wind Dog (Poetry Book Society Choice) (Faber and Faber, 1999).

Paulin also is a highly regarded literary critic. Among his works of criticism are: Minotaur: Poetry and the Nation State (Harvard University Press, 1992); Writing to the Moment: Selected Critical Essays, 1980-1996 (Faber and Faber,1996); The Day Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt's Radical Style (Faber and Faber, 1998). He has edited The Faber Book of Political Verse (Faber and Faber, 1986); and The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse (Faber and Faber, 1990).


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