By: Daisy Pizarro

Early Life

  • Born on August 9, 1922 in Coventry, United Kingdom
  • Died on December 2, 1985 in Kingston upon Hull
  • Son of Sydney and Eva Emily Day Larkin
  • Had a sister named Catherine
  • Writer
  • Poet
  • Professional librarian
  • Style was comfortable and about life. "fits with unresisting precision into traditional structures, . . . filling them with the melancholy truth of things in the shrunken, vulgarized and parochial England of the 1970s." -Pearl K. Bells
  • Had a tradition rhythm structure
  • "a poetry from which even people who distrust poetry, most people, can take comfort and delight" X.J. Kennedy
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  • King Henry VIII
  • St. John's College
  • University College of Leicester


  • 1965 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry
  • 1975 he was awarded the CBE
  • 1976 was given the German Shakespeare-Pries
  • W.H. Smith Literary Award for 1984
  • Booker Prize Panel in 1977
  • Companion of Literature in 1978
  • Honorary Fellow of the Library Association in 1980

Well-known Works

  • The North Ship
  • Jill: A Novel
  • A Girl in Winter
  • XX Poems
  • The Less Deceived
  • The Whitsun Wedding
  • High Windows

Interesting Facts

  • Had his esophagus taken out
  • Never got married
  • No face-to-face interviews
  • "Unofficial poet laureate" or "Laureate of the common man"
  • Life was not unhappy
  • nearsighted and stuttered
  • Wanted to be in the military


  • “I have no enemies. But my friends don't like me.”
  • How little our careers express what lies in us, and yet how much time they take up. It's sad, really.”
  • “Originality is being different from oneself, not others.”
  • “Something, like nothing, happens anywhere.”
  • "Life has a practice of living you, if you don't live it."


The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Philip Larkin." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

"Philip Larkin." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

"Philip Larkin – PHILIP LARKIN BIOGRAPHY." Philip Larkin RSS. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

Martin, Bruce K. "Philip (Arthur) Larkin." Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, 1945-1960. Ed. Vincent B. Sherry. Detroit: Gale, 1984. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 27. Literature Resource Center. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

"Philip Larkin Quotes." Philip Larkin Quotes (Author of Collected Poems). Web. 11 Apr. 2016.