|Administrative History||Philip Callow, novelist, poet and biographer, was born in Stechford, Birmingham, 26 October 1924. Son of a clerk, he was educated at Broadway Secondary School and Coventry Technical College followed by an apprenticeship at Coventry Gauge and Tool Company in 1939. He lived in Leamington Spa during the Second World War before moving to Nottingham. His Midlands, working class roots were to feature strongly in his writing. After Nottingham, he moved to Plymouth working as a clerk and then training as a teacher at Exmouth College of Education in the mid 1960s before moving north again, this time to Yorkshire. From 1980-1986, he was writer in residence at Sheffield Polytechnic and continued to give courses on creative writing including a stint working with fellow novelist, Stanley Middleton, who was to become a close friend. In 1952, he married his first wife, Irene Christian Vallance with whom he had a daughter, Fleur Alyse Harvey; from 1974-1987 he was married to Penelope Jane Newman; he married Anne Jennifer Golby in 1987. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and received an honorary masters degree from Nottingham Trent University in 2004.|
Callow's first novel, 'The Hosanna Man', was published to critical acclaim in 1956. This was followed by 15 further novels, including the Midlands trilogy 'Going to the Moon' 1968, 'The Bliss Body' 1969 and 'Flesh of Morning' 1971, short stories, plays for radio and television and, between 1961 and 2004, a number of volumes of poetry, including:
1961: 'Five: new poems' (Chippenham: Elegreba Press);
1964: 'Turning Point' (London);
1964: 'The Real Life. New poems' (Times Press: Douglas, Anthony Gibbs and Phillips: London);
1971: 'Bare Wires' (London: Chatto and Windus: Hogarth Press);
1976: 'Homage to the dancers' (Haworth: Haworth Press);
1976: 'New York insomnia' (Haworth, West Yorkshire: Haworth Press);
1981: 'Cave Light' (Bradford: Rivelin Press);
c 1984: 'New York insomnia: and other poems' (London: Rivelin Grapheme);
1987: 'Icons' (Bradford: Blue Bridge);
1990: 'Soliloquies of an eye: poems' (Todmorden: Littlewood);
1991: 'Notes over a chasm' (Bradford: Redbeck Press);
1994: 'Fires in October' (Bradford: Redbeck);
1998: 'Nightshade and Morning Glory' (Bradford: Redbeck Press);
2000: 'Testimonies: new and selected poems' (Nottingham: Shoestring Press);
2004: 'Pastoral: new poems' (Nottingham : Shoestring Press).
Callow's biographies reflected his own creative interests, beginning with the first of his two works on D. H. Lawrence, 'Son and Lover' published by Bodley Head in 1975, and including accounts of painters, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne, as well as Walt Whitman, Robert Louis Stevenson and Chekhov. Callow, a keen amateur painter, said of himself, 'I always seem to need to have a painter in a novel' (source: Belbin, D.). In addition to his autobiographical fiction, he wrote two autobiographies, 'In my Own Land' 1965 and 'Passage from Home: a memoir' (Nottingham: Shoestring Press, 2002).
Sources: the records; David Belbin. Independent online 27 September 2007. Available: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/philip-callow-403638.html (accessed 18 January 2012); The Telegraph online Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1564065/Philip-Callow.html (accessed 18 January 2012); Christopher Hawtree. The Guardian obituaries online 6 October 2007 Available http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2007/oct/06/guardianobituaries.artsobituaries (accessed 17 January 2012); 'Philip Callow: An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center Repository' Online Available: http://research.hrc.
utexas.edu/includes/EAD2PDF.cfm?ead=00548.xml (accessed 17 January 2012)