From its founder Joseph Addison – a poet of some significance – to its present poetry editor, Hugo Williams, the Spectator has always had a rich association with the poetic art. Indeed, an editorial by J.D.Scott in 1954 was widely regarded as the founding text of the so-called “Movement” of that decade; Vita Sackville-West, Sassoon, Freya Stark, Larkin, Kingsley Amis and James Michie have all played their part in this glorious history.
So it was in the spirit of renewing our finest traditions that we hosted a very special poetry event at 22 Old Queen Street this evening – a standing-room only sell-out - featuring Sir Andrew Motion, Clive James, Annie Freud and Olivia Cole. In anticipation of the publication later this year of her first collection, Restricted View, Olivia began by reciting poems including “The Writer’s Dairy”:
On Amwell Street,
the dairy has been locked up,
as if an earthquake or volcano
exploded, and not just the decades,
and now all around, slow gentrification.