Happy 99th! The Philip Larkin Birthday Podcast

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Cover picture – birthday card from Eva Larkin to Philip Larkin 1953

The Society is looking forward to the Centenary celebrations next year, but we wanted to mark what would have been Larkin’s 99th birthday this year by reading his poems. The readings have been recorded and submitted by PLS society members, trustees, honorary vice presidents and podcast listeners from across the world. Larkin was famously reluctant to read his poems in public, but we hope listeners enjoy hearing his words being read out loud. Please raise a glass and join us with our birthday celebrations! This is the first of two parts.



Poems and readers featured as follows.

The Challenges of Life

This Be the Verse – Helen Cooper

Life with a Hole in It – Wade Newman

First Sight – Gregg Walker

Days – David Quantick

Reasons for Attendance – Richard Johnston

The Darker Side of Life

The Building – Anne Gibson

Sunny Prestatyn – Wes Finch

Afternoons – Rachael Galletly

Mr Bleaney – Martin Duckworth

Love and Compassion

The Mower – Yuanyou Zhang

An April Sunday Brings the Snow – Hans Rutten

Places, Loved Ones – Laura Wilson

Love Songs in Age – Hugh Lester

Born Yesterday – Carmel Morgan

An Arundel Tomb – Ann Thwaite


Wires – Gregg Walker

Wild Oats – Cath Sked

New Eyes Each Year – Tony Peyser

This is the First Thing – Graham Chesters

Lines on a Young Ladies Photograph Album – Ingrid Keith

Toads Revisited – Tim Whitaker


The Trees – Polly McMullan

The School in August – Casey Allen

Skin – Bert Molsom

To The Sea – Sally Button

Coming – Paul Evans

Is It For Now or For Always? – Lorna Simes

Here – Nick Smales

Please also head over to the Right In The Schoolies podcast for more Larkin poetry and check out Alan Johnson (honorary vice president of the Philip Larkin Society) reading Friday Night at the Royal Station Hotel on our Twitter feed. Thank you to all our contributors. Keep an eye out for Part 2 and many more readings.

Presented by Lyn Lockwood.

Theme music: ‘The Horns Of The Morning’ by The Mechanicals Band. Buy ‘The Righteous Jazz’ at their Bandcamp page: https://themechanicalsband.bandcamp.com/album/the-righteous-jazz

Audio editing by Simon Galloway.

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