Edwin Morgan, the distinguished Scottish poet, celebrates his 90th birthday on 27th of April 2010. To mark the occasion, Special Collections are exhibiting material from his significant and extensive archive, which includes scrapbooks, correspondence and handwritten drafts of poems, given to the department over recent years.
Morgan began compiling scrapbooks in the 1930s and continued to add to them until the 1960s. He saw them as combining biographical detail, cultural commentary and an aesthetic dimension. They can be regarded as his most significant early creative work. One of these scrapbooks is among archive material now on display in the Hunterian Art Gallery, alongside selected paintings from his art collection.
We have also mounted some images from these scrapbooks on flickr (thanks to graduate trainees Lisa Ramsay and Paris O’Donnell). James McGonigal, who is writing a biography of the poet, has kindly supplied commentaries for this set of images. “As he approaches his ninetieth year, it may be useful to open at least some of those 3600 pages of the scrapbooks to a virtual gaze.”
Edwin Morgan has a long association with the University of Glasgow, studying English here and teaching in the Department of English Literature until his retirement as titular professor in 1980. In 1999 Morgan became Glasgow’s first Poet Laureate, he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2000, and was named the first Scottish national poet – The Scots Makar – in 2004. The University’s thriving Creative Writing Centre is named after him.
Categories: Special Collections