On 17th June the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall announced that Philip Larkin is to be honoured by a memorial stone in Poets’ Corner. Fittingly, the announcement was made from Larkin’s old office in the Brynmor Jones Library at The University of Hull.
Dr Hall said: “With the kings and queens in Westminster Abbey are buried or memorialised 3,300 men and women, many of whom have contributed with distinction to the health and well-being not only of the people of England and the United Kingdom and Commonwealth but of the whole English-speaking world. Philip Larkin will be memorialised very near Geoffrey Chaucer, finding a fitting place among his fellow poets. I have no doubt that his work and memory will live on as long as the English language continues to be understood.”
This accolade has long been campaigned for by members of the Society and friends of Philip Larkin and recognises his position as the most admired and popular poet of the 20th century.
The memorial will be unveiled on 2nd December 2016, the 31st anniversary of Larkin’s death. As well as enabling Larkin to take his rightful place at the very cultural heart of the nation in Westminster Abbey, it will also form a wonderful prelude to Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017.