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26 of 34 nominations

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The Lyrical Ballads

The Lyrical Ballads

A champion of poetry as well as a writer of it, Andrew Motion took over as Poet Laureate from Ted Hughes in 1999. Given his conviction that poetry has a relevance in all our lives, his nomination of an eminent collection by two of England’s greatest poets is true to form.

“The Lyrical Ballads, the great collaborative collection of poetry written by Wordsworth and Coleridge, and first published in 1798, is one of the defining documents of the Romantic movement. Not only because it has a wonderfully democratic range of subjects and  interests, but also because it arises from the kind of self-consciousness we recognise as being modern. The book is more than two hundred years old now, but still feels wonderfully fresh and new: it's a beacon, as well as an icon.”

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Image of Andrew Motion © Antonio Olmos

The Lyrical Ballads

Andrew Motion

Poet, novelist, biographer

Apart from being a popular and prolific poet, Andrew Motion is also an award-winning biographer. His book on Philip Larkin won a Whitbread prize in 1993 and was drawn from personal knowledge after he met Larkin while teaching at the University of Hull.