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John Moat obituary

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Poet who co-founded the creative-writing venture Arvon

A chance meeting in a Berkshire pub in 1963 between two young poets, John Fairfax and John Moat, began a friendship that was to lead, with the support of Ted Hughes and of Moat's wife Antoinette, to the founding of the Arvon Foundation. Its motto, "The fire in the flint shows not till it be struck", perfectly exemplifies the pair's basic assumption that every individual is capable of imaginative self-expression.

Thousands have since attended Arvon's writing courses with experienced writers in the countryside and been inspired, not by the promise of outer success, but by a space in which to flicker safely. Exhaustion, pain and disappointment are part of the mix: writing is life.

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