James Kirkup

James Kirkup died on 10 May 2009 aged 91. He wasn't a grammar school boy - he went to South Shields High School - but he was well-known to Novocastrian poets. On 3 September 1971 several of us went to hear him read at Hancock's Museum and enjoyed the sherry afterwards. Kirkup achieved some notoriety for his poem 'The Love that Dares to Speak its Name' which was published in Gay News and led to the private prosecution of that paper for blasphemy by Mary Whitehouse. He was as the Times obituary says a 'flamboyant' character and might have become a Tyneside Quentin Crisp had it not been for his academic and literary achievements. In his memory I post here the covers (by Stephen Ross [Russ?]) of two of Kirkup's (many) autobiographical reflections. Both books were purchased from Brian Mills at the Newcastle Bookshop on the Quayside.

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