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Interview: Peter Porter

Peter Porter, who died on 23rd April 2010 at the age of 81, was one of the finest poets of the late 20th century. This interview was conducted in January 2003, and is published here for the first time.

Born in Brisbane on 16th February 1929, Porter emigrated from Australia in 1951 and spent almost all of his subsequent life in England. In 1955, following a troubled early career and two suicide attempts, he began attending meetings of The Group, a poetry discussion group founded by Cambridge graduates Philip Hobsbaum, Tony Davis and Neil Morris. Porter’s first significant publication came in 1958 in Delta magazine; in 1960 his poem “Metamorphosis” was printed in the Times Literary Supplement and brought him wider attention.

Porter’s first collection, Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, was published in 1961. He went on to release…

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