Chairman – Edwin A. Dawes: former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Hull and, for a record period of eleven years, Chairman of the Library Committee, during which time he worked closely with Philip Larkin. He is now Professor Emeritus. As a friend and colleague of Philip Larkin, he was honoured to accept the invitation to chair the Larkin Society on its foundation in 1995.
Deputy Chairman – Graham Chesters
General Secretary – Andrew Eastwood: has recently retired as a Senior Practitioner Educational Psychologist in Hull. He discovered The Philip Larkin Society in 1999, through a mutual school friend of the late Maeve Brennan. Andrew volunteered at the 2005 AGM to become the Society’s Membership Secretary, and subsequently agreed to become the General Secretary.
Treasurer – Jacqueline Sewell
Events Secretary – Carole Collison
Literary Adviser & Co-Editor About Larkin – James Booth: has published two books on Philip Larkin: Philip Larkin: Writer (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991) and Philip Larkin: The Poet’s Plight (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). He has also edited Larkin’s early girls’-school stories and poems as Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions (Faber, 2002), and a volume of critical essays, New Larkins for Old (Macmillan, 2000), arising from the first Hull International Conference on the Work of Philip Larkin mounted by the Society in 1997. He has recently retired from the Department of English at the University of Hull. His new biography of Larkin: Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love was published in August 2014.
Co-Editor About Larkin – Janet Brennan read English at the University of Hull at the time when Philip Larkin was Chief Librarian. She was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) in Ofsted for 14 years and is now a freelance education adviser, writer and editor. She lives in Totnes, Devon.
External Liaison – Don Lee: a former Local Government officer, and tutor with the The Worker’s Educational Association (W.E.A.), Don first became aware of Larkin’s work when he found a copy of Listen Records’ The Whitsun Weddings LP whilst browsing through the railway records section of Rare Records, a specialist shop in Manchester. On the formation of The Philip Larkin Society, Don began to develop the concept of the Society’s Birthday Walks.
City and Region Liaison Officer – Graham Chesters: was one of those instrumental in setting up the Society in 1995. A specialist in modern French poetry, he has published on Larkin and French literature. He currently chairs the Larkin25 Board which is overseeing the commemorative events to mark the 25th anniversary of Larkin’s death.
Merchandising Officer – Andy Bagley
Jazz Consultant – John White is Reader Emeritus in American History at the University of Hull, where he taught from 1965 until his retirement in 2002. He shared a love of jazz with Philip Larkin, and with Trevor Tolley produced Larkin’s Jazz, a 4-CD set released by Proper Records (2010) as part of the Larkin25 celebrations. He also co-edited (with Richard Palmer) Larkin: Jazz Writings: Essays and Reviews 1940-1984 (Continuum, 2004), and an essay on Larkin, “‘Goodbye Witherspoon': A Jazz Friendship” in Dale Salwak’s Philip Larkin: The Man and his Work (Macmillan, 1989). He has contributed several pieces to About Larkin, including “Philip Larkin: Funny Man” and “‘The Great Oak': Philip Larkin on Louis Armstrong”.
Education Officer – Belinda Hakes: head of English at Wyke Sixth-Form College, Hull. She took over the editorship of About Larkin following Maeve Brennan’s death in 2003 and oversaw issues 17 – 21. She organises the Society’s annual spring study day on Larkin’s work, designed for sixth-formers.
Media and Publicity Officer – Philip Pullen: was born and brought up in Coventry and is familiar with most of the haunts of the young Philip Larkin. He has spent most of his working life teaching in further and higher education and from 2001 until his retirement in 2011 was an HMI with Ofsted. Although his academic background is in the social sciences he has had a life long passion for English literature. He is currently researching the relationship between Philip and Eva Larkin as revealed in their extensive correspondence.