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Herbert Lomas (UK)

Photo - Tom Southern
Photo - Tom Southern

Herbert Lomas was born in Todmorden in the Pennines, and The Vale of Todmorden (Arc, 2003) is his poetic record of the town and his family in the twenties and thirties.

He served with the infantry 1943-46, including two years with the Royal Garhwal Rifles on the North West Frontier of India, and his Called to the Colours in A Useless Passion is a record of that.

He graduated with first-class honours and an MA from Liverpool University and is a former Senior Lecturer at the University of Helsinki and Principal Lecturer at the University of London. He was a regular critic for Alan Ross's The London Magazine and Ambit for thirty years, has contributed to The Hudson Review, The Spectator and other journals and is a regular translator for the quarterly Books from Finland.

His Letters in the Dark was an Observer book of the year, and he has received Guinness, Arvon and Cholmondely awards. His Contemporary Finnish Poetry won the Poetry Society's 1991 biennial translation award. He is a member of the Finnish Academy, and was made Knight First Class, Order of the White Rose of Finland, for his services to Finnish Literature.

He lived in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, until his death in 2011, aged 87.

Read his Guardian obituary here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/12/herbert-lomas-obituary