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13 November 2014

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Poet Philip Larkin

Poet Philip Larkin

Larkin around Coventry

Fans and admirers of Coventry poet Philip Larkin can now follow a trail that leads around the city he would have known.

A booklet, called Philip Larkin’s Coventry, has been produced that tells us more about the man who was born in the city in 1922. It also looks at some of the places that played a part in his life.

Larkin, who was awarded a star in the Coventry Walk of Fame in 2009, grew up in the city and attended King Henry VIII School on Warwick Road.

The Golden Cross

The Golden Cross

The family lived in Coventry until 1941 when, because of the dangers of wartime, they moved to Warwick.

The Golden Cross

The free booklet includes a map of the areas of interest – such as Penvorn on Manor Road (the site of the family home – which is now part of the Coventry ring road), the old cathedral (where Larkin was baptised) and The Golden Cross in Hay Lane.

Larkin was also a big fan of jazz music and would visit places around the city to hear live music.

Don Lee of the Philip Larkin Society - who helped to compile the guide – told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire about his early life in city: “In a way, I don’t think any time was a happy time for Larkin. He had problems with the family, as we all know about from his famous poem, but he quite enjoyed the anonymity of it all I think.

Don Lee from the Philip Larkin Society

Don Lee from the Philip Larkin Society

Coventry on Sea

"And of course, he did learnt to appreciate jazz in his early years, which was his big love, as much as poetry. And he heard the jazz and dance bands of the time at the Hippodrome.”

Larkin later moved to Hull in 1955 when he was appointed librarian at the University. He dubbed Hull Coventry on Sea. 

The guide is free and available at the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Open Centre in Priory Place, Coventry and at other sites throughout the city.

You can find out more about Philip Larkin on the BBC Poetry Season website. There is also the chance to vote for him as your favourite poet:

You can also visit the Philip Larkin Society's website by clicking on the link below:

last updated: 05/06/2009 at 09:05
created: 02/06/2009

You are in: Coventry and Warwickshire > Features > Local History > Famous People > Larkin around Coventry

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