Soon after Andrew Crozier’s death in April 2008 the Independent published an obituary by Nicholas Johnson, himself a prominent poet and founder of Etruscan Books. Subtitled ‘Poet and poet’s champion’, Johnson’s piece pointed to the extraordinary way in which Crozier had fostered the world of poetry in England from the mid-1960s to his premature death soon after his retirement from the University of Sussex:
At just 20 years old, the poet Andrew Crozier began to nurture and revitalise – through his small-press publishing – a rich terrain of first American, then British, modernist poetry. This had a rapid effect for his peers, principally those associated with the Cambridge School. Crozier disseminated, circulated and, with what became an increasingly anonymous generosity, encouraged and stimulated countless writers and visual artists. If he partly achieved this as an editor, archivist, publisher and teacher, it was quietly reflective of his precise gift as a poet.
Now his poetry is out of print.
In the two years before his death this last point was a matter of some serious debate, and there was some important correspondence between Andrew Crozier and Michael Schmidt about the possibility of producing a ‘Selected Writings’ which might include both poetry and some prose. In his response to one of Schmidt’s letters, Crozier, who had only recently retired from academic life, provides some interesting insights into what he was working on right up until the end:
2nd May 2006
Retirement itself will, surely, have consequences for writing of any sort, although I have no strong sense of what is likely. This is relevant to my perplexity about how to respond to your invitation. Hitherto I have responded to expressions of interest in publishing a new collected edition of my poems by saying that to do so seemed premature while I had rather little to add to All Where Each Is, and difficult to justify. (Indeed, difficult to justify to myself although that book has been out of print for some