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Edwin Morgan

Edwin Morgan

The following Edwin Morgan poems are in Booknotes:

  • Strawberries
  • One Cigarette
  • In the Snack Bar
  • Glasgow Sonnet No°1
  • The death of Marilyn Monroe

Booknotes allows you to read our notes about the poems as well as add your own.

example annotations from Glasgow Sonnet Number One by Edwin Morgan

Edwin Morgan biography

edwin morgan

Edwin George Morgan was born on 27 April 1920 in the West End of Glasgow. He went to Glasgow University to study English literature in 1937. While at University Morgan also studied French and Russian. The Second World War then interrupted his studies. From 1940 Morgan served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Returning to Glasgow in 1946, he graduated with first class honours the following year. Morgan then joined the staff of the English Literature Department after turning down a scholarship to Oxford. He worked as a lecturer at Glasgow until his retirement as a professor in 1980.

Morgan's first book of poetry was published in 1952. Since then he has continued to live and work in Glasgow, producing work which has received increasing recognition at both home and abroad. In the 1960s Morgan became involved in the international concrete poetry movement, corresponded with concrete poets in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and became, along with Ian Hamilton Finlay, perhaps the major exponent of concrete poetry in these Islands. A committed internationalist, Morgan has been a prolific translator, producing versions of poems and plays from a large number of languages.

Edwin Morgan's work has received a number of prestigious accolades and has assumed an increasingly public role. In 1999 he became Glasgow's first official Poet Laureate and a year later received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Most recently, in 2004, Morgan became Scotland's first official national poet or 'Scots Makar', charged with 'representing and promoting Scots poetry'. In the years after his appointment to the Glasgow laureateship Morgan was an active supporter of the repeal of Section 28, criticising Church and business leaders for their support of the 'Keep the Clause'campaign. This endorsement of gay rights and inclusive attitudes to social and cultural difference characterised his publicly liberal stance in the 1990s and into the 21st Century.

Edwin Morgan died in Glasgow on 19 August, 2010.



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