This volume contains excerpts from several interviews conducted throughout the author's career and spliced together to form a coherent narrative of his development and his aesthetic. The book closes with two full-length interviews, conducted by Peter Robinson and John Kerrigan. Essential to an understanding of Roy Fisher's work as a poet.
Roy Fisher was born in 1930 in Handsworth, Birmingham. He won a scholarship to the local grammar school, and later secured a place at Birmingham University where he read English and first published poems in the student magazine. To earn a living and support a family, he went into teaching, first at a grammar school in Newton Abbott, Devon, in the 1950s; he then returned to Birmingham and a job in a college of education. He was principal lecturer and head of department of English and Drama at Bordesley College of Education in Birmingham from 1963 to 1971, when he became a member of the Department of American Studies at Keele University. Through these three decades he pursued a second career as a semi-professional jazz musician. Since retiring he has lived in the Peak District. His early pamphlets, including City (1961) and Ten Interiors with Various Figures (1966) were first brought together in Collected Poems 1968. A larger gathering of further books and pamphlets, such as The Ship's Orchestra (1966), Matrix (1971), some of The Cut Pages (1971) and The Thing about Joe Sullivan (1978), appeared from OUP as Poems 1955 - 1980 (enlarged paperback edition as Poems 1955 - 1987). The long poem A Furnace also appeared from OUP in 1986, as did Birmingham River (1994). In 1996, Bloodaxe Books published The Dow Low Drop: New and Selected Poems, and followed it with The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955 - 2005 and Standard Midland in 2010.
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