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Durham University

Research & business

Commemorating Basil Bunting and Briggflatts

(6 March 2020)

Basil Bunting reading from 'Briggflatts'

Did you know that we’re home to the archives of one of Britain’s most distinguished modern poets?

Our special collections hold the extensive archive of Basil Bunting (1900-1985).

A renowned 20th century poet, Bunting is famous as the author of Briggflatts, regarded as one of the major achievements of the modernist tradition in English poetry.

His archive includes manuscripts and papers, photographs, films and sound recordings.

Our Centre for Poetry and Poetics includes the Basil Bunting Poetry Centre dedicated to the study and research of Northumbrian poets and promotes the practice of ‘live’ poetry reading.

Live poetry

Bunting was a champion of live poetry reading which he practiced at the ancient Morden Tower, one of Britain’s best known literary landmarks, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

This intimate setting for his powerful poetry provided the perfect location as the small, circular room on the upper floor holds only 50 people.

Because of our close connections to Basil Bunting we were delighted to take part in a commemorative plaque unveiling at Morden Tower, where Bunting gave his first public reading of Briggflatts in 1965. The plaque was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

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