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Seán Rafferty

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4 December 1993

University of Edinburgh

Salathiels Lied, Salathiel's Song, Poems, Poems, revue sketches and fragments, Collected Poems

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Seán Rafferty (5 February 1909, Kettleholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland – 4 December 1993, Iddesleigh, Devon, England) was a Scottish poet, based in England from 1932 until his death. His poetry has been praised by Sorley MacLean, Ted Hughes, Michael Morpurgo and Hugh MacDiarmid and published in collections by the major British poetry presses Carcanet and Etruscan.


Personal life

The death of Rafferty's first wife, Betty Bryant, in 1945, by whom he had a daughter, figures prominently in his poetry. He married Peggy Laing in 1947 and the next year moved with her to Iddesleigh, Devon, where he was landlord of the "Duke of York" public house. He lived in Iddesleigh until his death in 1993, aged 84.


Rafferty's poetic work is squarely within the Anglo-American modernist tradition, reflecting variously the influence of traditional English lyric, Celtic bardic poetry, balladry, and popular song.

Books by Seán Rafferty

  • Collected Poems, edited by Nicholas Johnson, Manchester: Carcanet, 1995..
  • Poems, edited by Nicholas Johnson, Buckfastleigh, South Devonshire : Etruscan Books ; Berkeley, CA : Distributed in America by SPD, 1999. [Revised and enlarged version of the 1995 Carcanet edition.]
  • Poems, Revue Sketches, and Fragments, edited by Nicholas Johnson, Buckfastleigh, South Devonshire : Etruscan Books; Berkeley, CA : Distributed in America by SPD, 2004.
  • Recordings

  • Various Artists - In Tune with the World: The Poetry of Seán Rafferty (2010 Brown Label Poetry), featuring readings by Jim Causley, Michael and Clare Morpurgo, Jane Fever and Vic Baines.
  • References

    Seán Rafferty Wikipedia

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