The UK Poetry Society is deeply saddened to report the death of Dannie Abse on 28 September 2014, aged 91. Abse was a great friend to the Poetry Society over the years, including serving as President from 1978-1992.
Abse was a well-loved figure in UK poetry – a compelling reader, he won multiple awards and honours, and was still writing powerful poems with all his customary verve and clarity up until his death. Abse worked as a doctor – a chest specialist – and his medical background was a strong influence on his writing, along with his Welsh nationality and Jewish heritage. His collection Two for Joy, written after the death of his wife Joan Mercer in 2005, also established his reputation as an extraordinary poet of married love and the many nuances of grieving. Abse is survived by his three children: Keren, Susanna and David.
As a tribute to Abse, who was a featured guest at the Poetry International Festival in 1983, we have added his profile and two recent poems to Poetry International's online archive: Talking to Myself and Ask the Moon. This is the first publication of "Ask the Moon." We also proud to share the recordings he made for Poetry International during the 1983 festival.
For further information on Abse's life and work:
Obituary in The Guardian
Obituary in The Telegraph
Profile from the BBC
Wales Online recommends five Abse books everyone should read