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Roddy Lumsden has died

Poet, tutor, and much-loved member of the poetry community Roddy Lumsden died on Friday 10 January 2020. He was 54.

Roddy Lumsden was born in St. Andrews, Scotland. He described his upbringing as small-town and working-class. His writing was influenced by the works of WS Graham, Philip Larkin, Thom Gunn, TS Eliot, and Sylvia Plath, and by song lyrics.

Roddy’s poetry collections include So Glad I'm Me (2017), Melt and Solve (2015), Not All Honey (2014), Terrific Melancholy (2011), Third Wish Wasted (2009); Vitamin Q (2005), Mischief Night: New and Selected Poems (2004), Roddy Lumsden Is Dead (2003), The Book of Love (2000), and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (1997). His last book, So Glad I'm Me (2017), was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.

Lumsden received an Eric Gregory Award and was Writing Fellow for the City of Aberdeen. Lumsden worked as a freelance writer, editor, teacher, and writer of puzzles and quizzes for newspapers. From 2010 to 2013 he served as poetry editor of Salt Publishing, for whom he was also the Series Editor of The Best British Poetry anthologies.

Roddy lived in London, where he taught at The Poetry School and and served as organiser and host of the monthly reading series BroadCast.

Roddy was an exceptional champion of poets and of poetry, with so many poets describing Roddy as influential in their writing careers. At the TS Eliot Prize Readings on Sunday 12 January, host Ian McMillan opened the evening in tribute to Roddy and his influence on British poetry:

Many people here will owe the way they write to Roddy Lumsden. We will miss him very much.
Ian McMillan