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Critical Quarterly Archive

Date range: [1957]-1989

Number of items:

The influential literary journal Critical Quarterly was launched in 1958 by Brian Cox and A. E. Dyson to promote contemporary poetry. Containing new poems, reviews and discussion articles, Critical Quarterly attracted new poets of the highest calibre and helped to establish poets such as Sylvia Plath, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes and R. S. Thomas. It also organized many poetry conferences and competitions, and published the controversial Black Papers on education.

The archive contains:

  • Accounts and business papers;
  • Material relating to education, including the Black Papers;
  • An extensive series of manuscripts and corrected proof copies of contributions to Critical Quarterly;
  • Correspondence files, including nearly 4,000 letters exchanged with Critical Quarterly contributors and prospective contributors from around the world. Correspondents represented include A. Alvarez, Kingsley Amis, W. H. Auden, John Betjeman, E. K. Brathwaite, Donald Davie, Ruth Fainlight, Robert Graves, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Jennings, Philip Larkin, F. R. Leavis, Andrew Motion, Iris Murdoch, Norman Nicholson, and F. T. Prince;
  • Papers relating to other activities including poetry competitions, conferences, Manchester Poetry Centre, and the establishment of Poetry Nation.

See also:

Further Information:

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • See also Stella K. Halkyard and C. B. McCully, '"Thoughts of Inventive Brains and the Rich Effusions of Deep Hearts": Some of the Twentieth-Century Literary Archives of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 77, no. 2 (1995), pp. 105-21.

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