Mottram, Eric Noel William, 1924-1995, Professor of English and American Literature

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Mottram, Eric Noel William, 1924-1995, Professor of English and American Literature

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Born in London, 1924; educated Purley Grammar School, Croydon, Surrey, 1935-1940, and Blackpool Grammar School, Lancashire, 1940-1943. Awarded scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge but enlisted in the Royal Navy instead, 1943. Served North Atlantic Convoys and as a Sub Lt in RNVR on mine sweepers in Far East (Ceylon, Malaya and Burma), 1943-1947. Scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1947-1950. BA with First Class honours in both part of Tripos, 1950; awarded Jebb Studentship, Cambridge University, 1950-1951. Appointed Lektor in English, Faculty of Philosophy, Zurich University, Switzerland, 1951-1952. Toured Italy with John Page, Aug-Sep 1952. Appointed Assistant Lecturer in English Literature, University of Malaya at Singapore, 1953-1954. Slow sea-journey home, taking in Japan, Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Egypt, 1954-1955. Lecturer in English Literature, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Groningen, Holland, 1955-1960. Took up initial appointment for two years as Lecturer in English and American Literature at King's College London, 1960-1962. Toured USA, called on Allen Ginsberg, and made many new contacts, Jul-Sep 1960. Visited New York and Philadelphia, called on William Carlos Williams, Apr-May 1962. Tenure as Lecturer at University of London confirmed, 1963. Inaugural meeting of the Institute of United States Studies at the University of London of which Mottram was co-founder and was responsible especially for the literary and cultural elements of the MA course in Area Studies (United States), 5 Jul 1965. Visiting Fellow at State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was introduced to Basil Bunting, 27 Jun 1966; also lectured at Brooklyn, Bridgeport, Philadelphia and Kent State University, Oct 1965- Sep 1966. Bill Butler on trial in Brighton in August 1968 over obscene publications charges; Mottram speaks for the defence, but Magistrates convict, 1968. Visiting Professor at Kent State University Ohio, Sep-Dec 1968. Appointed Editor of The Poetry Review (the journal of The Poetry Society, London), duties to commence with Autumn 1971 issue, Jan 1971. Visiting Professor at Kent State University, Ohio, Sep 1970-Mar 1971, tragedy of shooting of four students on campus occurred 4 May 1970. Read at Miners' Benefit Reading in Newcastle upon Tyne organised by Tom Pickard, Feb 12-13 1972. Moved in summer from 15 Vicarage Gate W8 to 40 Guernsey Grove, Herne Hill in South-East London, 1972. Appointed Reader in English and American Literature at King's College London, Jan 1973. Visiting Professor at Kent State University, Ohio, Jan - Apr 1974. Speaker at Melville Conference in Paris, 5-9 May 1974. Lectured in Tunis, Apr 10-17 1974. Lectured at Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, 25 Aug to 6 Sep 1975. Gave lecture for Austrian American Studies Association, Vienna, 3 Mar 1977. Editorship of The Poetry Review ceased after intervention from Arts Council of Great Britain in policy at The Poetry Society, 1977. Visited America, including Buffalo, New York, Kent State and San Francisco, 30 Mar-15 May 1979. Lectured at conference in Budapest, 28-31 Mar 1980. Read at Festival of British Poetry in New York, 1982. Appointed Professor of English and American Literature at King's College London, 1 Oct 1982. Teaching at Philadelphia, then tour of US covering 10 states and Canada, May-Jul 1984. Visited Hyderabad (Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages), Sep 1984. Lectured at American Studies conference at Valencia University in Spain, 28-30 May 1985. Travelled to Naropa Institute for Burroughs' Conference; then tour of Colorado, Jul 1985. Lectured at Alcala de Henares near Madrid, Apr 1988. Organised exhibition about aircraft from Sir George Cayley to the Wright Bros (1799-1909) at Polytechnic of Central London for 150th Anniversary of its founding, 1988. (In 1989 the exhibition was shown at RAF Museum Hendon). Co-edited New British Poetry Anthology for Paladin, 1988. Lectured at Sorbonne in Paris, 14 Feb 1990. During May interviewed Robert Creeley on BBC Three. Retired from King's College London with the title of Emeritus Professor of English and American Literature, Sep 1990. Read at benefit reading for Shakespeare & Co, Paris, Mar 1991. Mountjoy Fellow at Basil Bunting Poetry Centre, University of Durham, Jan-Mar 1992. Invitations to Coimbra University, Portugal, and University of Helsinki declined as heart surgery was required in May 1992. Visiting Professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, to help launch their Poetics program, 17 Sep-2 Dec 1992. Conference on Law & American Literature at Coimbra University, Portugal, 1993. Festschrift in Mottram's honour published A permanent etcetera: Cross-cultural perspectives on Post- War America ed. A. Robert Lee (Pluto Press, London and Boulder, Colorado, 1993), 1993. Visit to Denmark and lectured at University of Aarhus, March, and at Helsinki in Finland, early June, 1994. Two anthologies were issued in later 1994 to celebrate Mottram's 70th birthday: Motley for Mottram: tributes to Eric Mottram on his 70th birthday ed. Bill Griffiths & Bob Cobbing (Amra Imprint, Seaham, and Writers Forum, London, 1994); and Alive in parts of this century: Eric Mottram at 70 ed. Peterjon & Yasmin Skelt (North & South, Twickenham and Wakefield, 1994), 1994. Died 16 Jan 1995.

Academic books: American Studies in Europe (J. B. Walters, Groningen & Djakarta, 1955) (Mottram's inaugural lecture at Groningen University, Holland)

Books on America: American Literature (British Association for American Studies, UK, 1966, as 'Books on America series no. 4') (bibliography) William Burroughs: the algebra of need (Intrepid Press, Buffalo, New York, 1971, as Beau Fleuve series no. 2) and (Marion Boyars, London, 1977). Revised edition, Algebra of need: William Burroughs and the gods of death (Marion Boyars, 1992) William Faulkner (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1971) Allen Ginsberg in the Sixties (Unicorn Bookshop, Brighton & Seattle, 1972) The Rexroth Reader, selected edition by Mottram (Jonathan Cape, London, 1972) Entrances to the Americas: poetry, ecology, translation, edited by Eric Mottram (Polytechnic of Central London, 1975) Paul Bowles: staticity & terror (Aloes Books, London, 1976) Towards design in poetry (Writers Forum, London, 1977) A reading of Thomas Meyer's first ten years (Reality Studios, London, 1985, as Occasional Paper no. 2) Blood on the Nash Ambassador: investigations in American culture (Hutchinson Radius, London, 1989) (selected essays)

Poetry publications: Inside the whale (Writers Forum, London, 1970, as Writers Forum Quarto no. 7) Shelter Island & The remaining world (Turret Books, London, 1971, as Tall Turret 1) The he expression (Aloes Books, London, 1973) Local movement (Writers Forum, London, 1973) Kent journal (published by Mottram, 1974) (10 copies) Two elegies (Poet & Peasant, Hayes, Middlesex, 1974; second edition, 1976) Against tyranny (Poet & Peasant, Hayes, Middlesex, 1975) '1922 earth raids', and other poems 1973-1975 (New London Pride, London, 1976) A faithful private (Genera, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1976, as issue 13) Homage to Braque (Blacksuede Boot Press, [London], 1976) Descents of love: songs of recognition (Mugshots no. 6, card in set, no publisher given, 1977) Spring Ford (Pig Press Hasty Editions, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1977) Tunis (Rivelin Press, Sheffield, 1977) Precipice of Fishes (Writers Forum, London, 1979) (a set of cards) Windsor Forest: Bill Butler in memoriam (Pig Press, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1979) From shadow borders (Twisted Wrist, Paris, 1979, as publication no. 5) 1980 Mediate (Zunne Heft, Maidstone, Kent, 1980) A book of Herne: 1975-1981 (Arrowspire Press, Colne, Lancashire, 1981) Elegies (Galloping Dog, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1981) Interrogation rooms; poems 1980-1981 (Spanner, London, 1982) Address (Shadowcat, [Gateshead] 1983) (text handwritten and illuminated by Maria Makepeace) Three Letters (Spanner, London, 1984, as Open Field no. 2) The legal poems: 29 December 1980 - 30 May 1981 (Arrowspire, Colne, Lancashire, 1986) Peace projects & brief novels, 1986-1988 (Talus Editions, London, 1989) Selected poems (North & South, Twickenham & Wakefield, 1989) Season of monsters: poems 1989-1990 (Writers Forum, London, 1991) Resistances: A homage to René Char (RWC, Sutton, 1991, as RWC 9-10) Estuaries: Poems 1989-91 (Solaris, Twickenham, Middlesex, 1992) Raise the wind for me: poems for Basil Bunting (Pig Press, Durham, 1992, as special issue of Staple Diet) Time Sight Unseen (State University of New York at Buffalo, 1993) Design origins: Masks book two, poems 1993-4 (Amra Imprint, Seaham, Co. Durham, 1994) Inheritance: Masks book one, poems 1993-1994 (Writers Forum, London, 1994) Double your stakes: Masks book three (RWC, London, 1995) Hyderabad depositions (University of Salzburg Press, 1997) Periodical contests: Masks book four (Anarcho Press, Badninish, Sutherland, with Mainstream, St Albans, Hertfordshire, 1997) Limits of self-regard (Talus Editions, King's College London, 1998)

Further bibliographic details of reprints, translations, collaborations and articles may be found in Eric Mottram: A Bibliography, prepared by Bill Griffiths (King's College London, 1999). See also Eric Mottram: A checklist of his poems, compiled by Valerie Soar (King's College London, 1999).

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Further information is available at the National Archives (F37850)

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