Alan Morrison (poet)

Alan Morrison (b. 18 July 1974, Brighton) is a British poet.

Overview of works

Morrison's work belongs to no particular school, but owes some debt to fairly unconventional (and largely Scottish) influences such as John Davidson and Harold Monro.

His work is often characterised by a strongly social and polemical tone, as epitomised in two of his long poems: "Clocking-in for the Witching Hour" (written 2001, published 2004), which charts the thought processes of his father on a night shift as a security officer, through themes of ancestry and self-perceived failure; and the Blakeian "Keir Hardie Street" (2006), in which a fictitious, turn-of-the-century, working-class poet discovers a Socialist Utopia off the dreamt-up Sea-Green Line of the London Underground. Morrison’s work can also demonstrate an acute empathy for mental suffering, as in his openly confessional piece "Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever" (2004), in which he traces the possible origins of his own obsessive preoccupations to a childhood subtly punctuated by Catholicism. Morrison’s most acclaimed work so far is "Picaresque", a play for voices based on his experiences working at an all-male night shelter in Brighton, in which he juxtaposes the homeless "residents" with piratical alter-egos. The piece has been performed several times between 2000 and 2006, at venues including The Poetry Café and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre, RADA. Comparisons have been drawn with Dylan Thomas’ "Under Milk Wood" – (DADA South and Samuel French Ltd.), but in terms of subject and tone other reviewers have seen the work as more echoing the likes of Robert Tressell and Gorky (Andy Croft, Smokestack). His recent collection, "The Mansion Gardens", was nominated for the 2006 T. S. Eliot Prize by publisher Paula Brown and critically praised in journals such as "The London Magazine" and "Other Poetry".

Morrison worked for over a year as editor and designer of "Poetry Express", journal of Survivors’ Poetry, (a mental health literary charity); a position in which he was able to promote the writing of other survivors of mental distress, most notably, David Kessel, whose collected poems, "O the Windows of the Bookshop Must Be Broken", he edited, designed and prefaced. Morrison’s poetry has been published in over thirty journals including "Aesthetica", "Airings", "Illuminations" (US), "The London Magazine", "Pennine Platform", "The Penniless Press", "Poetry Salzburg Review" and "The Yellow Crane"; and online at [ Great Works] , [ Strix Varia] and [ Snakeskin] .


*Alan Morrison - "Poems, Don't Think of Tigers" - The Do Not Press, 2001
*"Giving Light" - Waterloo Press, 2003
*"Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever" - Sixties Press, 2004
*"Clocking-in for the Witching Hour" - Sixties Press, 2004
*"Picaresque, a play for voices" - Survivors’ Press, 2005
*"Storming Heaven in a Book", a preface to "O the Windows of the Bookshop Must Be Broken - the Collected Poems of David Kessel" (ed.) - Survivors’ Press, 2005
*"The Mansion Gardens" - Paula Brown, 2006
*"Picaresque - The Pirates of Circumstance" - (reprint) chipmunkapublishing, 2007-8
*"Saints with Cluttered Brows" - Waterloo Press, 2008 (forthcoming)

External links

* [ Alan Morrison website]
* [ The Recusant ezine]
* [ Paula Brown Publishing]
* [ Survivors’ Poetry]
* [ Sixties Press]
* [ The Do Not Press]
* [ DADA South]
* [ Samuel French Ltd.]
* [ "Poems, Don't Think of Tigers" at The Do Not Press]
* [ Snakeskin]
* [ Great Works]
* [ Poetry Library]
* [ Waterloo Press]
* [ Strix Varia]
* [,16488,1669236,00.html Article on Survivors Poetry in The Guardian]

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