Larkinworld 2 is the development of an exhibition by D J Roberts first shown at the National Poetry Library, London, in 2017 and now to be shown in Hull as part of the Larkin centenary celebrations.
‘As was the case in London, viewers may be surprised by its upbeat nature, by its urban, streetwise aesthetic. This is because my reaction to Larkin’s work has always been of a very specific type. Psychologically Larkin’s world may often be one of morbid obsession, but physically it is a world of bars and shopping malls and cinemas, and this is the world I identify with and enjoy being part of, this is the world that attracted me to his poetry in the first place.
No poet I know more powerfully evokes the ordinary everyday world around us, a world that can comfort, stimulate and excite. Nobody does train journeys better than Larkin, or urban edgelands, or hotels late at night. Nor do sharp shoes, iced lollies and Coke dispensers often get a mention in serious verse.
This is the world I have tried to explore in Larkinworld 2. It is not an elitist world – Larkin was not an elitist in many of his recreations and pleasures – but it’s the world we all live in, and no other major poet I can think of evokes it so vividly, so convincingly, and with such acceptance and affection.’
Larkinworld 2 will be on show in the Exhibition Hall of the Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull from August 9th to September 25th 2022