In the first half of the spring term, Al Alvarez came to Ashbourne as a guest speaker. In the literary world, this man has almost legendry status and is a giant in his field. As poet, critic, editor and novelist, his career has spanned 50 years. In the 60’s he was close friends with Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plaith and played a major part in influencing the poetic standards of the time.
The entire English department gathered to hear him speak, and were greatly appreciative of time and effort he made. Despite his 80 years, he spoke intelligently and thoughtfully, and came across as a genuine and modest person. He read some of his own poetry and gave us some memorable insights into his work saying that a poem ‘actually creates a new piece of life’ and that good poetry is timeless. Listening to him talking about his experiences was truly priceless for everyone involved.