Monday, January 12, 2009

Mick Imlah (1956-2009)

I was planning to make a last minute prediction for the winner of this year’s TS Eliot Prize for Poetry. The ceremony is being held tonight.

However all speculation has been overshadowed by news that hot favourite, Mick Imlah, whose collection, The Lost Leader, won this year’s Forward Prize for Best Collection, has died today, aged only 52. He had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease just over a year ago.

Desperately sad news

10 comments:

Colin Will said...

That's terribly sad Rob. Far too short a life.

deemikay said...

That is very sad news. And it may be flippant to say so, but of all the days...

I can't imagine how heartbreaking it must be for his family.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I think I'll order the collection, fortunately we have now a good bookshop for orders near St Mark's Square here in Venice, as long as it lasts...

Have you listened to the latest Bob Dylan's boot leg series "Tell Tale Signs"? It's in my view the best of the whole series.

Best, Davide

BarbaraS said...

I just heard (or saw on Poets on Fire). It's very sad for his family - not enough time...

Colin Will said...

Just heard that Jen Hadfield won the T S Eliot prize.

Rob said...

That's a remarkable result and very well deserved. I had hoped Jen would win, but didn't think she would. I thought the judges would go for a more senior 'name'. Her book is terrific though, and a worthy winner.

Anonymous said...

mick imlah was an extraordinary poet and a wonderful, imaginative friend. He humbling nurtured his gift and suffered horribly. Forget prizes. Read him, because that's all there is.

Rob said...

Hi Anon

I've known a couple of other people who had MN disease and it is indeed distressing and awful.

You are absolutely right. Ultimately, prizes don't matter at all. What matters are people and everything they put into the world.

Ben Wilkinson said...

That is absolutely terrible news. I never had the privilege of meeting Mick in person, but I've always respected him hugely as both a poet and editor.

Congratulations to Jen Hadfield for her T S Eliot win.

Roddy said...

I did have the pleasure of meeting Mick several times, and he promoted my work in the TLS when I was a young writer - as he has Ben more recently.

He came to my TBoL book launch in 2000. It was at a swanky gallery near The Ritz - I was well connected with showbiz friends then! The attendees included Jah Wobble, Alan Warner, most of The Divine Comedy and very nearly Susannah York.

But I was most proud of Mick being there - the man from the TLS at my launch! That was my kind of cool. I'm glad the obits have mentioned how handsome he was - I thought that might be considered too flippant a remark.