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Barry Cole obituary


My friend Barry Cole, who has died aged 77, gained early recognition as a poet and novelist. In 1968 his first collection of poems, Moonsearch, which became a Poetry Book Society recommendation, was warmly greeted by critics and fellow poets, including Peter Porter and George MacBeth. One reviewer suggested that: "It is the kind of book to hang on to. It may well be of great value one day."

In the same year Barry's first novel, A Run Across the Island, also picked up enthusiastic reviews and was soon reissued in paperback. This bright beginning was followed by three further collections of poems and the same number of novels, all published in the space of the next six years. Barry was appointed writing fellow at Durham and Newcastle universities in the early 1970s. In 1973 Philip Larkin included him in his Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse.

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