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Frank and fearless

Leaving poetry aside, his memoir covers insanity, debt, drugs, narcissism, religious mania and, more generally, the lengths we go to not to be bored

11 February 2023

9:00 AM

11 February 2023

9:00 AM

Toy Fights: A Boyhood Don Paterson

Faber, pp.384, 16.99

Memoirs by poets – the Top Ten? It’s an admittedly niche category, and since no one would ask this in normal conversation, or even in a pub quiz, here is the chart. It is based not on official sales or downloads but rather on my own tastes, prejudices and relatively recent reading: Last Night’s Fun, Ciaran Carson; It Goes With the Territory, Elaine Feinstein; A Fly in the Soup, Charles Simic; The U.S.A.

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