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academics and readers young and old seldom slackened. Into the midnight letterbox near his fl at were posted late communications for early morning collection. Since he had a gift for warm and humorous contact at a distance, domestic details constantly illumine a working poet’s life. Letters had the signal advantage of allowing him to retain the privacy essential for his poetic work while sharing enough of his alert creative self to make recipients feel that he wrote only for them.Th at self sometimes signed letters with six swift calligraphic strokes that resolved themselves into his initials, EM.

Th ere are so many fi ne letters in the Papers that we did not need to prospect further into other literary archives in, for example, the National Library of Scotland. Th e present work is chosen from a much larger body of correspondence posted from Glasgow to – almost anywhere. It has been shaped fi nally by our and the poet’s publishers, Carcanet Press, as the realism of price and production come into play. So these Letters are a selection of a selection of a selection. In order to present the maximum possible number, we did not attempt to produce facsimiles but instead saved space in the layout of addresses and salutations. Where only a date is given, the implication is that the letter was written from the same address as the last previously noted in full. Individual glosses were preferred to footnotes for similar reasons of economy. Asterisked names in these glosses mean that these individuals were also correspondents, with letters included elsewhere and page numbers noted in bold in the index. Together with introductions to each decade, we trust that enough detail is given to guide but not overwhelm the reader. Catalogue references refer directly to the Edwin Morgan Papers in the Department of Special Collections. A brief list of further reading is also included.

In the three years taken to complete these Letters, we have been helped by many people. Th is book would have been impossible without them. We would like to thank the poet’s literary executors in Th e Edwin Morgan Trust for permission to publish; Professor Christian Kay and Dr Jean Anderson of Glasgow University for facilitating an early pilot project; and the Glasgow University Chancellor’s Fund for supporting the costs of replicating the chosen letters.Th is formidable task was carried out with cheerfulness and accuracy by Dr Linden Bicket. Staff

Introduction 3

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