About Alan Morrison...

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Alan Morrison was born in 1974. He grew up in Sussex and then Cornwall, where he started writing stories, plays, and in particular, poetry, partly as a creative response to the harsh policies of the Thatcher period - which had indirectly kept his parents in the poverty trap for the entire late Eighties.
  His eclectic influences have included William Blake, John Keats, Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy, John Davidson, Wilfred Owen, Harold Monro, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas and Alun Lewis. Morrison's work might be described in various axioms: 'social poetry', 'confessional poetry', 'new Emotionalism' - but probably not as 'fashionable'.
  A selection of his poetry first appeared in Don't Think of Tigers (The Do Not Press, 2001), as a prize in the Asham Trust's First Edition 1998. In 2000, he first performed his play for voices, Picaresque, which has gone on to endure as a periodically revived
(and re-drafted) piece performed at such venues
as the Poetry Cafe and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, RADA. Morrison's publishing history began with a selection from Waterloo Press, followed by
two long poem chapbooks from Sixties Press, and
a pamphlet publication of Picaresque.
  Morrison worked at Survivors' Poetry as mentoring co-ordinator, and editor and designer of Poetry Express and the Survivors' Press imprint from 2004-6. During this time he edited and designed four issues of PE, highly praised by Terrible Work and New Hope International and advertised in the London Review of Books. He also designed and edited a series of pamphlets and three volumes of poetry, including David Kessel's O the Windows of the Bookshop Must Be Broken, which Morrison also prefaced. Morrison has been Poet-in-Residence at Mill View Psychiatric Hospital, Hove, since 2007.
  Morrison's poetry has appeared in over fifty journals including Aesthetica, Aireings, Cadenza, Candelabrum, The Cannon's Mouth, Carrillon, Decanto, Eclipse, Exile, Great Works, Illuminations (US), The Journal, The London Magazine, Monkey Kettle, The Penniless Press, Pennine Platform, Poetic Hours, Poet-in-Residence, Poetry Monthly, Poetry Salzburg Review, Pulsar, The Seeker, Snakeskin, Softblow, South, The Strix Varia, Voice & Verse, Whistling Shade and The Yellow Crane, and forthcoming in Stand. His poetry has recently been translated into Portuguese and Hungarian. He is founding editor of highly esteemed radical literary webzine the Recusant. He has also contributed critical essays and polemic to the Scottish Poetry Review, the Glasgow Review and
The London Magazine.
  His first full volume, The Mansion Gardens, was published in 2006 by Paula Brown, who nominated it for the T.S. Eliot Prize. It was widely praised in journals such as The London Magazine and Other Poetry. His second volume, A Tapestry of Absent Sitters (Waterloo Press) was also critically acclaimed in magazines such as The Journal, the Morning Star, Tears in the Fence and Stride and was shortlisted for the Purple Patch Best Collection 2009.
  An occasional public reader of his work, Morrison
launched his new volume, Keir Hardie Street (Smokestack 2010) at Housmans Radical Bookshop, London, on Saturday 24th July at 5pm, with support readings from Nial McDevitt, John O'Donoghue, Julie Whitby and three of his poetry mentees, Leon Brown, Jan Bradley and Tom Jayston. More recently, Morrison completed a CD recording of Keir Hardie Street (shortly available) read by stalwart actor Michael Jayston.
  Morrison also recently edited, selected and designed the verse campaign e-book of 112 Poets in Defence of the Welfare State (PDWS), Emergency Verse - Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State, which is currently going to print and will be launched at The Poetry Library, Southbank Centre on Wednesday 5th January 2011 - readers to include Jeremy Reed, Michael Horovitz, Judith Kazantzis and Alan Morrison himself. The e-book of EV - which sold over 60 copies following wide media coverage -
was also selected as Book of the Month by The Poetry Kit. Morrison's most recent journal appearances have been in Stand magazine, and a monograph on T.S. Eliot's Anglo-Scot precursors, James 'BV' Thomson, John Davidson and Harold Monro - 'Makars of the Smoke', in The London Magazine (Aug/Sep 2010).
  Morrison's fourth volume, an epic poem relating to his experiences as poet-in-residence and poetry tutor volunteer at Mill View psychiatric hospital, Captive Dragons, is currently going to press and is available now for orders via Waterloo Press at www.waterloopress.co.uk. The book also includes a sequence of poem vignettes based on composites of various inpatients, The Shadow Thorns, two poems from which will be appearing in the next edition of The London Magazine (Oct/Nov 2011). An official launch in conjunction with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust will be advertised on this site in due course.
  His fifth collection, and third with Waterloo Press, Blaze a Vanishing, is due out in early 2012.

"Alan Morrison writes with bitter craft, radical eloquence and a passionate Naturalism. Like John Davidson, Robert Tressell, even Gorky, he makes rich poetry out of the thin and battered language of poverty. This is the real thing"
 Andy Croft, Smokestack

"...when Morrison tells what has to be told, one feels suddenly there is no other way of telling it, which is how we think of the great poets. Morrison may well be one of them"
– Frances Thompson, The Journal

"Morrison has attained the Holy Grail of poetic endeavour: a strong, distinctive voice"
– Stephanie Smith-Browne
The Strix Varia

"Morrison's work honours pavanine principles...but with substance. I'd suggest this definition of the term applies to Jeremy Reed, Robert Duncan, Peter
Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle, Niall McDevitt and many others. Morrison has a
massive range of language to accompany high-style. Strong and absorbing work"
– James Byrne, The Wolf

"Alan Morrison's poetry has been compared to Stevie Smith, John Davidson and Harold Monro. It resonates with shades of a gothic, confessional sensibility"
– Colin Hambrook, DADA South

"A real deftness of touch ... a lovely tone"
– Anne Rouse (Bloodaxe)

“Alan – who powerfully recalls a near namesake, Alun Lewis – can unflinchingly put bread and politics across in that order, urgently. His intensively compressed imagism, and generosity, strike at a wracked claustrophobia, creating something no-one else has done, or dares to do at present”
Dr Simon Jenner, Eratica

“A distinctive voice” – Nicholas Bielby, Pennine Platform

“...a lot of talent with language, a complex and interesting stance”
– Peter Philpott, Great Works

“A remarkable poetic talent” –
Strother Jeremson, New England Gazette

“…four books, by a remarkably ambitious and prolific young writer, between them indicate the wide range of Alan Morrison’s writing so far, as well as the promise they hold for future achievement. Both single, book-length poem sequences reward the reader well with their breathless forward impetus, the sparkle of the kaleidoscopic imagery, and the constantly moving agility of form and thought” –
Graham High, Poetry Express

“Powerful emotion encapsulated in silken word purses” –
Ewan McConnachane, New Catholic

"...they are all heartstopping" -
Paula Brown, The People's Poet

"I love (this) work although it's a bit frightening" - Nick Clark, Poetic Hours

“Alan Morrison is a new but electric voice on the British poetry scene. Morrison has a ‘voice’ (“All that poets can have”, as Auden said). The books are beautifully typeset and printed, a joy to handle and a fascination to read. Morrison is a hope for English poetry where hope is in short supply” – Barry Tebb, Sixties Press

“A poet of enormous potential”
– Sophie Hannah (Carcanet)