Elected: 2003
Discipline: Language, Literature and History
Professor Edwin George Morgan OBE HonFRSE
When the Sixties started Edwin Morgan was already 40. No one could have predicted that by the end of the decade he would be establishing himself as one of the most widely read contemporary poets in English, still less that well before the year 2000 some good judges would be acclaiming him as the mightiest Scottish writer since Hugh MacDiarmid.

He had had some success as a student poet in the late Thirties but made no notable poetry at the time out of his Second World War experience carrying stretchers in the RAMC. His first “slim volume”, The Vision of Cathkin Braes (1952) came out from a small publisher in his native Glasgow but made no great waves. In an autobiographical poem, “Seven Decades”, Morgan wrote of the ’50s: “At thirty I thought life had passed me by… / And week after week after week strained to unbind myself, sweated to speak.”

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