Tony Harrison

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Tony Harrison (born 30 April 1937) is an English poet, translator and playwright. He was born in Leeds and he received his education in Classics from Leeds Grammar School and Leeds University. He is one of Britain's foremost verse writers and many of his works have been performed at the Royal National Theatre. He is noted for controversial works such as the poem "V", as well as his versions of dramatic works: from ancient Greek such as the tragedies Oresteia and Lysistrata, from French Molière's The Misanthrope, from Middle English The Mysteries. He is also noted for his outspoken views, particularly those on the Iraq War. In 2015, he was honoured with the David Cohen Prize in recognition for his body of work.


  • Articulation is the tongue-tied’s fighting.
    • "On Not Being Milton", line 13; from From the School of Eloquence, and Other Poems (London: Rex Collings, 1978).
  • This pen's all I have of magic wand.
    • v, line 121 (Newcastle: Bloodaxe, [1985] 1989).
  • The ones we choose to love become our anchor
    when the hawser of the blood-tie's hacked, or frays.
    • v, line 409 (Newcastle: Bloodaxe, [1985] 1989).

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