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(William) Sydney Graham


(W.S. Graham)

1918 - 1986

Neo-Romantic poet. Born in Greenock tenement, the son of a marine engineer, Graham left school at fourteen and entered an engineering apprenticeship. He returned to education, studying literature and philosophy at Newbattle Abbey College (1938-39).

Collections of his work include Cage Without Grievance (1942), The Seven Journeys (1944), 2ND Poems (1945), The Voyages of Alfred Wallis (1948) and The White Threshold (1949), Malcolm Mooney's Land (1970).

A friend of poet Edwin Morgan (b.1920), and artists Robert Colquhoun (1914-62) and Robert MacBryde (1913-66) in Glasgow, Graham moved to London in 1948 where he adopted a Bohemian life-style and enjoyed the company of T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. The second half of his life was spent primarily in Cornwall, living at Gurnard's Head and, from 1967, Madron. He died in Madron.

Although less well known during his lifetime, interest in Graham's poetry has grown following enthusiasm for his work by another friend, the play-wright Harold Pinter. Several other collections were published after his death.


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