In this presentation, I will place Mick Imlah’s early work in an historical context by performing a close reading of his Browning-esque dramatic monologue, ‘Quasimodo Says Goodnight’. Through the close reading of another poem, ‘Doing It’, I will reveal that – contrary to the conventional view of his work – Imlah often wrote about subjects that were quite close to home. I will also read some of those recent poems of my own that I feel have been particularly influenced by my close reading of Imlah’s work.
Robert Selby is studying for a Creative Writing PhD under the supervision of Andrew Motion. His PhD consists of a concise but detailed biography of the late poet Mick Imlah and a close reading of his work, as well as putting together a collection of his own poems. A recipient of a Keats House bursary, his poems have appeared in the TLS, the Guardian, The Dark Horse, and elsewhere. Four appeared in the recently published anthology, Days of Roses II.