Permission to Breathe


In Permission to Breathe, Michael Laskey shows himself to be our poetic Alan Bennett – a genius of, as it were, biscuit barrels and wry grief. Unflinching, subtle, clear, emotionally precise, uncensored, touching, occasionally erotic, particular, these are very, very good poems that should win all the prizes.’ —  Craig Raine

‘[Laskey displays] originality of thought and quality of execution.’ —  Robert Potts, The Guardian

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Michael Laskey was born in 1944. He read English at Cambridge, and taught in Spain and England for ten years. Since 1978 he has lived in Suffolk, where he works as a freelance writer, leading workshops for a wide range of adult groups and in schools at all levels. An associate tutor at UEA, he also teaches regularly for the Arvon Foundation and the Open College of the Arts. Well known as a champion of contemporary poetry, he founded the international Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1989 and directed it through its first decade; and he has co-edited the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll since 1991.