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Roger Garfitt

In the late 1960s, Roger Garfitt was President of the Oxford Poetry Society, where he met Michael Schmidt. His association with Carcanet Press started in 1970, with the publication of his poems in a booklet entitled Caught on Blue. He went on to contribute to a volume edited by Schmidt and Grevel Lindop, British Poetry since 1960: A Critical Survey (1972). He won the Gregory Award in 1974 and published another volume of poems with Carcanet that same year (West of Elm).

After the early death of his wife Frances Horovitz, he edited her Collected Poems for Bloodaxe. From 1985 to 1992, he spent much of his time in Colombia and continued to publish poetry – including his collection Given Ground (Carcanet, 1989), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

His association with Carcanet continued into the twenty-first century. His Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2000) includes pieces that first appeared in Granta and the London Review of Books.

A freelance writer since the 1970s, Roger Garfitt has worked for various periodicals (including as Poetry Critic of London Magazine and Editor of Poetry Review). He has also held teaching positions in the university system: Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Swansea University. He also runs a Poetry Masterclass for the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education at Madingley Hall.

Roger Garfitt is now remarried and lives in the Shropshire Hills. His memoir, The Horseman’s Word (Jonathan Cape, 2011) was shortlisted for the PEN/Ackerley Prize.

Interview 16 August 2018