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David Hughes was born and raised in Liverpool. He taught English literature and language from 1975 to 2004 at St Peter’s School, York.
When he died in 2011, he left a little over two hundred poems, preoccupied with the impact of war upon the individual, the landscapes of mountainous and glacial northern Europe, the ecology of school, his friends, Wales, Liverpool, York, moments of communal celebration, the eulogy.
But many of them were informed by two pivotal events which would shape his poetry.
The first was his witnessing the death of his friend and colleague Barry Daniel in a mountaineering accident in 1986.
The second was an incident in 2008 in which his throat was cut by a young friend, who was imprisoned for six months. During that time David wrote a sequence of poems about their continuing friendship, about his forgiveness and about their differing experiences of that sentence.
David wrote very little poetry in the years after 2004, but the period from 2009 onwards marked a revival of his writing.
He was diagnosed with cancer in summer 2011 and died in December.
1952 - 2011
This collection has been edited by Antony Dunn, a friend of David Hughes who attended St Peter's School from 1986 to 1991. He is author of three collections of poetry; Pilots and Navigators (Oxford University Press 1998), Flying Fish (Carcanet OxfordPoets 2004) and Bugs (Carcanet OxfordPoets 2009).