Andrew Motion

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Andrew Motion is President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and co-founder of The Poetry Archive. His latest project is Poetry By Heart.

The Customs House is the latest collection from the former Poet Laureate. The book is in three sections, and opens with a sequence of war poems, Laurels and Donkeys, which draws on soldiers' experiences from the First and Second World wars, through to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Customs House follows hard on the heels of his acclaimed sequel, Silver ~ Return to Treasure Island (Jonathan Cape), in which Long John Silver’s daughter and Jim Hawkins’ son return to the scene of their fathers’ adventures. 

Andrew Motion was born in 1952. He read English at University College, Oxford and subsequently spent two years writing about the poetry of Edward Thomas for an M. Litt. From 1976 to 1980 he taught English at the University of Hull; from 1980 to 1982 he edited the Poetry Review and from 1982 to 1989 he was Editorial Director and Poetry Editor at Chatto & Windus. 

Andrew Motion’s poetry has received the Arvon/Observer Prize, the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is now Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway.He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London. He was knighted for his services to literature in 2009.

Andrew Motion was Poet Laureate from 1999 until 2009. 



Andrew Motion's publications include those listed below.  For more information - see links below.
In the Blood: A Memoir of my Childhood Faber and Faber, Sept 2006
Goodnestone: A Sequence   Workshop Press, 1972
Inland   Cygnet Press, 1976
The Pleasure Steamers   Sycamore Press, 1977
The Poetry of Edward Thomas   Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980
Independence   Salamander Press, 1981
Philip Larkin   Methuen, 1982
Secret Narratives   Salamander Press, 1983
Dangerous Play: Poems 1974-1984   Salamander Press / Penguin, 1984 
Natural Causes   Chatto & Windus, 1987
Two Poems   Words, 1988
Love in a Life   Faber and Faber, 1991
Selected Poems by Thomas Hardy   (editor)   Dent, 1994
The Price of Everything   Faber and Faber, 1994
Penguin Modern Poets: Volume 11   (Michael Donaghy, Andrew Motion, Hugo Williams)   Penguin, 1997
Salt Water   Faber and Faber, 1997
Selected Poems 1976-1997   Faber and Faber, 1998
John Keats: Poems Selected by Andrew Motion   Faber and Faber, 2000
A Long Story The Old School Press, 2001 
Here to Eternity: An Anthology of Poetry   (editor)   Faber and Faber, 2001
Public Property   Faber and Faber, 2002
First World War Poems   (editor)   Faber and Faber, 2003
Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life   Faber and Faber, 1993
The Lamberts: George, Constant and Kit   Chatto & Windus, 1986
Keats: A Biography   Faber and Faber, 1997
Wainewright the Poisoner   Faber and Faber, 2000

The Invention of Dr Cake   Faber and Faber, 2003


LINKS  etc.

Faber & Faber - go to and search for 'Andrew Motion'.  

Guardian Unlimited - try poems / extracts first...  if that fails go to and search for 'Andrew Motion'



'My poems are the product of a relationship between a side of my mind which is conscious, alert, educated and manipulative, and a side which is as murky as a primaeval swamp. I can't predict when this relationship will flower. If I try to goad it into existence I merely engage with one side of my mind or the other, and the poem suffers.

I want my writing to be as clear as water. No ornate language; very few obvious tricks. I want readers to be able to see all the way down through its surfaces into the swamp. I want them to feel they're in a world they thought they knew, but which turns out to be stranger, more charged, more disturbed than they realised. In truth, creating this world is a more theatrical operation than the writing admits, and it's this discretion about strong feeling, and strong feeling itself, which keeps drawing me back to the writers I most admire: Wordsworth, Edward Thomas, Philip Larkin.'

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