MacSweeney, Barry

(1948-2000)
   Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and educated at Rutherford Grammar School, he spent many years as a journalist on a variety of provincial newspapers, as well as teaching journalism and creative writing. He was North of England correspondent for the insurance and shipping newspaper Lloyd's Lists, and ran adult literacy classes. He was a regular contributor at the Morden Tower, an enterprise set up by Tom Pickard (see entry) and his wife Connie, who organized readings by influential local, national and international poets. In 1970 MacSweeney established Blacksuede Boot Press. Much of his work appeared in local poetry magazines and pamphlets, or as contributions to poetry anthologies. His love for the city of Newcastle as well as the wild, open spaces of Northumberland is obvious in his poetry. Alcohol dependence and subsequent ill health led to his early death at Denton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne. Some of his publications: Brother Wolf, 1972. Fools Gold, 1972. Black Torch, 1978. Odes, 1978. Ranter, 1985. Finnbar's Lament, 1997. Letter to Dewey, 1999. Pearl in the Silver Morning, 1999. The Book of Demons, 1997. Some of his poems: "Blackbird," "Far Cliff Babylon," "Flame Ode," "Ode Long Kesh," "Sunk in My Darkness."
   Sources: Antholog y of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry. Keith Tuma, ed. Oxford University Press, 2001. Nicholas Johnson, An Appreciation by Barry MacSweeney (www.pores.bbk.ac.uk). Other: British and Irish Poetry Since 1970. Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain, eds. Wesleyan University Press, 1999. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New British Poetry, 1968-88. Gillian Allnutt, Fred D'Aguiar and Ken Edwards, ed. Grafton Books, 1989. Wolf Tongue: Selected Poems 1965-2000. Barry MacSweeney. Bloodaxe Books, 2003.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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