(born 1944)

Tom Leonard

'helluva hard tay read theez init
stull
if yi canny unnirston thim jiss clear aff then
('Good Style' from 'Intimate Voices')

Tom Leonard is best known for poetry written in the urban speech of the Glasgow area, a mode which was revolutionary and innovative when his first collection 'Six Glasgow Poems' was published in 1969. His work has exposed the pernicious condescension in the literary establishment towards the vernacular of working class people, in both the spoken and the written word. He is motivated by a fiercely honest, socialist conviction. In his editorial introduction to 'Radical Renfrew: Poetry from the French Revolution to the First World War' (1990), he lambasts language snobbery and the literary values that oppress those who 'had lost the right to equality of dialogue with those in possession of Queen's English or "good" Scots'. 'Places of the Mind', his biographical study of James Thomson, author of 'The City of Dreadful Night', was published in 1993. Other work includes 'Intimate Voices: Selected Work 1965-1983 '(1984), 'Satires and Profanities '(1984), 'On the Mass Bombing of Iraq and Kuwait '(1991) and 'Reports from the Present: Selected Work 1982-94'(1995).

Tom Leonard

Tom Leonard, Glasgow 2000.

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