Return To Larkinland to explore poets time in Leicester

To celebrate National Poetry Day, and to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Philip Larkin, writer and critic AN Wilson will be revisiting the life and work of one of the greatest English poets of the 20th century - Philip Larkin - in Return To Larkinland.

Larkin had a long history with the University. Perhaps most famous was his relationship with Monica Jones, who lectured in English at the University and met Larkin while teaching in 1946. During this time he also worked as assistant librarian at the University and in 1970 he was made an Honorary Graduate of Leicester.

Part of Return To Larkinland was shot in the Harry Peach library and much of his time at Leicester is mentioned.

In Return To Larkinland, Wilson traces Larkin’s life from his childhood in Coventry, through his student days at Oxford and then his adult years, covering some of the best-loved and most notorious poems in the English language.

Wilson, who knew Larkin in later life, remembers memorable encounters with the poet; this personal connection helps him to reveal a complex man with a complicated, and at times tortured, private life.

Featuring readings of his work by Larkin himself, including The Whitsun Weddings, Arundel Tomb, Church Going and Aubade, Wilson argues in this programme that Larkin spoke for Britain between the 1950s and 1970s perhaps more than any other writer.

Return To Larkinland will air on Sunday 11 October between 9.00pm - 10.00pm on BBC Four.

Listen to a podcast of Philip Larkin opening the new library, dated 27 September 1975, below: