Philip Larkin memorial to join literary greats in Westminster Abbey on 31st anniversary of his death

A memorial stone to the poet Philip Larkin, inscribed with lines from one of his most famous works An Arundel Tomb – “our almost instinct almost true/What will survive of us is love” – will be unveiled in Westminster Abbey this evening, marking the 31st anniversary of his death. 

The dedication ceremony will be led by the dean of Westminster, with an address by poet and author Blake Morris, and readings by Anthony Thwaite, president of the Philip Larkin Society, which commissioned the memorial, the artist Grayson Perry, and the actor Sir Tom Courtenay.

Larkin, who passed away in 1985, had a long history with the University. Perhaps most famous was his relationship with Monica Jones, who lectured in English 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.

A recording of Philip Larkin, dating from 27 September 1975 during a return trip to the University of Leicester - where Larkin is introduced by Chancellor Alan Lloyd Hodgkin shortly before opening the University's new library – is available to listen to via the University's Soundcloud account: 

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