Hobsbaum, Philip

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Philip Hobsbaum, poet, critic, and teacher, was born in London, June 29, 1932.

From the description of Philip Hobsbaum collection, 1962-1971. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 181099706

Philip Hobsbaum was born in London, England. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge in 1955 and 1961 respectively, and a Ph.D. from Sheffield in 1968. He worked as a part-time lecturer and teacher from 1955 to 1959. He was a lecturer in English in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 1962 to 1966 and then moved to Glasgow, Scotland, working initially as a lecturer and later becoming a Professor of English. Hobsbaum is known as a poet, critic, teacher, and editor. In 1955, Hobsbaum founded a creative writing movement known as "The Group". From 1955 to 1959, he was chairman at the poetry readings, which were followed by discussions between the poets and the audience. He later founded similar groups in Belfast and Glasgow. Other members of the original group included Taner Baybars, Martin Bell, Alan Brownjohn, Julian Cooper, Anne Dyke, Christopher Hampton, Arthur Jacobs, Rosemary Joseph, Owen Leeming, Christopher Levenson, Edward Lucie-Smith, George MacBeth, Robin McLaren, Adrian Mitchell, Margaret Owen, Michael Pickering, Peter Porter, George Raphael, and Peter Redgrove.

From the description of Philip Hobsbaum collection. [1955-1972]. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 646006447

English poet, critic, educator, originator of several writing workshops in Cambridge, London, Belfast, and Glasgow.

From the description of Philip Hobsbaum Collection of Correspondence and Manuscripts of The Group, ca. 1955-1968. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122492214

Philip Hobsbaum, poet, critic, and teacher, was born in London on 29 June 1932 and raised in North and West Yorkshire. He attended Downing College at Cambridge under his mentor F. R. Leavis and did research at Sheffield University under William Empson. In 1962, Hobsbaum taught at Queen's University in Belfast, but left in 1966 when Northern Ireland was on the verge of civil war—a time and place that pervades his poetry. Hobsbaum was lecturer and reader at the University of Glasgow from 1966 to 1985, and later Professor of English Literature there, from 1985 to 1997. He was instrumental in beginning Glasgow University's M.A. in Creative Writing. His four published collections of poetry are The Place's Fault (1964), In Retreat (1966), Coming Out Fighting (1969), and Women and Animals (1972). Hobsbaum's main influence, however, has been his two major works of literary criticism, A Theory of Communication (1970) and Tradition and Experiment in English Poetry (1979). He resides in Glasgow, Scotland.

Hobsbaum is perhaps most famously known as the originator of several writing workshops in Cambridge, London, Belfast, and Glasgow. The first of these poetry forums originated as a verse-speaking group while Hobsbaum was at Cambridge in 1955. Eventually the group developed into a kind of writer's workshop, focusing on, but not limited to, poetry. Typically meetings of The Group were held on Friday evenings at either Hobsbaum's flat or Edward Lucie-Smith's home, and often preceded by a visit to the pub. Each meeting focused on an individual writer. The writer for that week would read aloud generally six or seven poems, which had been cyclostyled and dispersed throughout The Group's membership the week before. This procedure allowed for intense and lively discussion of the poems, as members could prepare specific textual criticism beforehand and then participate in an open dialogue at the meeting with the poems right in front of them. In the epilogue to A Group Anthology (1963), Hobsbaum argues for the importance of discussion to any writer, and the writer's need for community to keep him in touch with his audience.

The Group had no manifesto per se and was not tied to traditional formalism, but Hobsbaum and consequently The Group itself were influenced by a university approach to close readings of the text. Lucie-Smith characterized The Group as one of diversity and freedom: This is a group of poets who find it possible to meet and discuss each other's work helpfully and without backbiting or backscratching...we have no axe to grind—this isn't a gang and there's no monolithic body of doctrine to which everyone must subscribe (Lucie-Smith to Hobsbaum, Nov. 1961). Hobsbaum later established a similar group in Belfast, one that has been credited with facilitating the emergence of, among others, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, and Seamus Heaney.

From the guide to the Philip Hobsbaum Collection of Correspondence and Manuscripts of The Group TXRC03-A22., ca. 1955-1968, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hobsbaum, Philip. Philip Hobsbaum collection, 1962-1971. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn William Empson papers, 1811-1996 (inclusive), 1911-1984 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Hobsbaum, Philip. Philip Hobsbaum Collection of Correspondence and Manuscripts of The Group, ca. 1955-1968. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Longley, Michael, 1939-. Michael Longley papers, 1960-2000. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
creatorOf Hobsbaum, Philip. Philip Hobsbaum collection. [1955-1972]. University of Victoria Libraries, UVic
referencedIn Foster, John Wilson. John Wilson Foster papers, 1973-2003. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
creatorOf Philip Hobsbaum Collection of Correspondence and Manuscripts of The Group TXRC03-A22., ca. 1955-1968 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alvarez, A. (Alfred), 1929- person
associatedWith Baybars, Taner. person
associatedWith Bell, Martin, 1918-1978. person
associatedWith Brownjohn, Alan, 1931- person
associatedWith Cooper, Julian. person
associatedWith Dyke, Anne. person
associatedWith Empson, William, 1906-1984. person
associatedWith Foster, John Wilson. person
associatedWith Fraser, George, 1916-1986 person
associatedWith Hampton, Christopher. person
associatedWith Holbrook, David. person
associatedWith Holbrook, David. person
associatedWith Jacobs, Arthur, 1922- person
associatedWith Joseph, Rosemary. person
associatedWith Leeming, Owen. person
associatedWith Levenson, Christopher, 1934- person
associatedWith Longley, Michael, 1939- person
associatedWith Lucie-Smith, Edward. person
associatedWith Lucie-Smith, Edward. person
associatedWith MacBeth, George. person
associatedWith MacBeth, George. person
associatedWith McLaren, Robin. person
associatedWith Mitchell, Adrian, 1932-2008. person
associatedWith Owen, Margaret, 1929- person
associatedWith Pickering, Peter. person
associatedWith Porter, Peter. person
associatedWith Porter, Peter. person
associatedWith Raphael, George. person
associatedWith Redgrove, Peter. person
associatedWith Redgrove, Peter. person
associatedWith The Group (group of writers). corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
England
Subject
Poetry, Modern--20th century
Group (group of writers)
The Group (group of writers)
Poets, English--20th century
English poetry--20th century
Occupation
Poets
Activity

Person

Birth 1932-06-29

Death 2005-06-28

Britons

English

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