Jazz in Hull: Larkin’s Life in Hull and his Life as a Jazz Listener and Enthusiast

Philip Larkin - Poetry, Politics, Love and Jazz - Ian Smith

Ian Smith [+-]
Writer, Broadcaster and Musician
Ian Smith has lectured on literature, film and cultural theory at the Universities of Oxford, Boston, Warwick, London, and Kingston. He has also worked as a professional jazz musician for many years. This musical work includes composing and performing settings of Larkin poems for BBC Radio 3; settings that formed part of the stage show “Larkin’s Jazz”, presented at UK literary and jazz festivals. He has published and broadcast regularly on literature, jazz, and cultural politics.His play, Blood Count, exploring the complex relationship and creative partnership of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2015 and 2016. His study of Harold Pinter, Pinter in the Theatre, is published by Nick Hern books (2005).


What were the social groups, the musical occasions, the musical culture in which his listening took place? In Motion’s biography the metropolitan visits and occasions in Larkin’s life find far more attention than the years of friendship and society in Hull. For the metropolitan imagination, Larkin’s melancholic loner persona chimed easily with a sense that a great writer would be almost entirely alone and isolated in the British provinces. However, Larkin’s resilience and productivity – not to mention the testimony of his friends - suggest otherwise.

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Smith, Ian. Jazz in Hull: Larkin’s Life in Hull and his Life as a Jazz Listener and Enthusiast. Philip Larkin - Poetry, Politics, Love and Jazz. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Mar 2024. ISBN 9781781798102. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=36501. Date accessed: 24 Jan 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36501. Mar 2024

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