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Potts, Paul, 1911-1990

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1911 - 1990

Paul Potts (1911-1990) has been called both "the people's poet" and "one of the most shamefully neglected" poets of the 20th century. During the 1930s he made his living selling leftist poems on the street of London. His later poems include Instead of a Sonnet (1944), and A Ballad for Britain on May Day (1945), though his best known prose work is the autobiographical Dante Called You Beatrice (1960). Potts' work regularly appeared in leading poetry magazines of the day, but despite this, Potts rapidly became disillusioned with poetry and eventually gave up publishing it at all.

Potts was also appreciated for eulogies written for his friends, which included George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, and Patrick Kavanagh. He was a close friend of George Orwell, and stayed with him and his family at Barnhill on the island of Jura, Scotland, in June-July 1946. Potts was also known for his book reviews in the London Sunday Telegraph, starting in 1964.

Potts, also known as Paul Hugh Patrick Howard Potts, was born July 17, 1911 in Datchet, Berkshire, England, as a Canadian citizen born abroad, and was brought up in British Columbia, Canada. He died August 26, 1990.
Citation
Author: Benn Joseph
Citation
Contemporary Authors, vol. 32, 1991.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Paul Potts Papers

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MS156
Abstract Paul Potts (1911-1990) made his living during the 1930s selling leftist poems on the streets of London. His later poems include "Instead of a Sonnet" (1944), and "A Ballad for Britain on May Day" (1945); his best known prose work is the autobiographical "Dante Called You Beatrice" (1960). Potts' work regularly appeared in leading poetry magazines of the day, but despite this, Potts rapidly became disillusioned with poetry and eventually gave up publishing it at all. The Paul Potts Papers...