Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

A Strong Song Tows Us - Another History of English Poetry

Lee Hall, writer of Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters, uncovers a hidden history of English poetry. Stretching back to the Dark Ages and emerging in 1960s Newcastle, Lee reveals an alternative tradition of English poetry as the preserve of ordinary working people.

Sunderland cork cutters, shipyard workers and pit men encounter Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg and Ezra Pound. And how a meeting between a 16-year-old schoolboy and one of the great modernists of English literature, Basil Bunting, contributed to the flowering of the north east as an international destination for the whole Beatnik generation.

Release date:

45 minutes

Last on

Mon 2 Mar 2009 15:00



Discover more seriously interesting radio documentaries.