Curated by Tony Curtis | Featuring Jeremy Robson, Carol Rumens, Cary Archard, Owen Sheers, Lynne Hjelmgaard
Poetry Wales are pleased to present Doctor & Magician as a free e-booklet to celebrate the centenary of Welsh poet Dannie Abse’s birth. An extract of this tribute will be published in Poetry Wales 59.2, Winter 2023
Dannie Abse was born in Cardiff on 22nd September 1923, the fourth child of Jewish parents Rudolph and Kate Abse. He had two older brothers, Wilfred and Leo (a psychoanalyst and a Labour MP, respectively) and an elder sister, Huldah.
He studied Medicine in Cardiff and then London, where he moved in 1943, qualifying as a doctor in 1950. In 1951 he married Joan Mercer, an art historian and writer. Together they had three children; Karen, Susanna, and David, and co-edited the anthologies Voices in the Gallery: Poems and Pictures (1986) and The Music Lover’s Literary Companion (1988). Joan passed away in 2005. In 2008, Abse met the writer Lynne Hjelmgaard, and the two were in a relationship until his passing in 2014.
His first collection, After Every Green Thing was published in 1948 by Hutchinson. He went on to publish thirteen further collections, as well as plays, novels, and essay collections. He won numerous awards over his lifetime, including the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award (2009), the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction (2004), the Charles Henry Foyle Trust Award (1960), was awarded a CBE (2012) and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Doctor & Magician is a loving collection of tributes by those who knew Dannie not only to his work, but also to his character, his mentorship, and his lifelong love of Cardiff City F.C.
Download the e-booklet below as a PDF