Sleeping on Islands: A Life in Poetry by Sir Andrew Motion


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Andrew Motion has been close to the centres of British poetry for over fifty years. ‘Sleeping on Islands’ is his clear-sighted and open-hearted account of a remarkable career. It takes us from scenes of a teenage home-life coloured by tragedy and silence – where writing was as much a refuge as an assertion – to the excruciations of early public appearances, to the decade he spent as Poet Laureate, asserting and ensuring the central place of poetry in a nation’s character. Along the way, we hear about the risks and sacrifices involved, as well as the difficulties of sustaining the commitment to writing within a helix of other obligations.