Gavin Selerie obituary


My pal Gavin Selerie, who has died aged 73, was a author whose collections of poetry included Azimuth (1984), Roxy (1996), Le Fanu’s Ghost (2006) and Hariot Double (2016).

Favouring long-form verse, Gavin preferred to think about his volumes as analysis initiatives that concerned unique tutorial evaluation. Le Fanu’s Ghost, for example, was based mostly on household historical past of the Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu, whereas Hariot Double introduced collectively his wide-ranging information of the Renaissance together with his love of music and a fascination with London by juxtaposing the Elizabethan-era polymath Thomas Harriot with the fashionable jazz saxophonist Joe Harriott.

Between 1979 and 1983 Gavin additionally performed and printed his Riverside Interviews, a sequence of book-length conversations with poets and playwrights, from Allen Ginsberg and Jerome Rothenberg via to Tom McGrath, a few of which came about on the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, west London.

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Concern 1 of The Riverside Interviews, wherein Gavin Selerie spoke at size to the poet Allen Ginsberg

Born in Hampstead, north London, to Peter Selerie, a wine service provider of Italian extraction, and his spouse, Muriel (nee Lee), Gavin was educated at Haileybury college in Hertfordshire. He went on to review English literature at Lincoln School, Oxford, after which undertook analysis on Renaissance literature on the College of York.

Afterwards Gavin taught artistic writing on the College of London extra-mural division (later a part of Birkbeck School), remaining there from the Nineteen Eighties till his retirement in 2004.

Other than his extra prolonged volumes of poetry, he additionally wrote shorter sequences akin to these introduced collectively in Elizabethan Overhang (1989), Tilting Sq. (1992) and Collected Sonnets (2019). As well as his work appeared in anthologies akin to The New British Poetry (1988), Different: British and Irish poetry since 1970 (1999), and the groundbreaking Actuality Road E book of Sonnets (2008).

A few of his different work was collected in Music’s Duel: New and Chosen Poems, 1972-2008 (2009) and he additionally wrote vital works on different poets, starting with a examine of Charles Olson in 1980.

As well as Gavin collaborated with numerous different writers, together with the poet and visible artist Alan Halsey, with whom he wrote Days of ’49 (1999), a celebration of the yr of their start. He additionally teamed up with David Annwn and others on the poetry collections Danse Macabre (1997) and The Canting Academy (2008).

Gavin was identified with glioblastoma in 2022, however earlier than his demise was capable of full a memoir, Edges of Reminiscence, detailing his experiences on a 1968 journey to the US.

He’s survived by his associate, the poet Frances Presley, his sister Clare, a nephew, Peter, and a niece, Gemma.


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