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Mick Imlah

The poet and Oxford don Michael Ogilvie Imlah, who was born in Aberdeen on 26 September 1956 has died of motor neurone disease.


Mick Imlah was captain of rugby at Oxford, where he took a first in English, before becoming a poet, critic, editor and father.

He faced his own death bravely, and it is a comfort to many that he could enjoy the late acclaim his last book has brought him – he was able to attend the Forward Prize party at which The Lost Leader was named the best collection of 2008. The book is all the more remarkable for being so free of the circumstances under which it appeared.

Reviewers called the poet's narratives about Columba, Robert the Bruce and Alexander Selkirk (among others) and his 'conversation' with Tennyson brilliant, strikingly beautiful, humorous and grave. These and personal poems for his daughters Iona and Mary pierce The Lost Leader.

I am out of humanity's reach

I must finish my journey alone.

Ave atque vale.

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