As well as a highly respected poet and editor, Mick Imlah (1956–2009) was one of the finest literary critics of his generation. He spent most of his twenty-five-year career working for the Times Literary Supplement, reinterpreting familiar writers from Tennyson and Trollope to Larkin and Muldoon, and – as his interest in his Scottish background grew – elucidating those fallen from favour, such as Barrie, Buchan, Muir and Scott. With a preface by Mark Ford, this volume draws together a selection of Imlah’s essays that reveal the formidable breadth of his unique literary insight, and the flair with which he communicated it. The volume also encompasses some of his pieces on miscellaneous subjects such as sport and travel, as well as on his own poetry, in order to provide a rounded sense of Imlah the man and writer.
Mick Imlah was born in 1956 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he taught as a Junior Fellow. He was editor of Poetry Review from 1983 to 1986, Chatto and Windus poetry editor from 1989 to 1993, and worked at the Times Literary Supplement for many years until his death in 2009. His second collection of poetry, The Lost Leader, won the Forward Prize in 2008.