Postcard from Michael Horovitz to Olwyn Hughes

HOROVITZ Michael; HUGHES Olwyn (September 1966)


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Postcard with original abstract painting by Michael Horovitz, verso completed in holograph. London, Notting Hill. 

Michael Horovitz begins this postcard to Olwyn Hughes, literary agent and sister of Ted Hughes, with an original poem: ‘Kiss on the rocks / Stars in the lake / Why does my heart ache / Oh to be an arkwright now the summer’s gone’, making reference to Hughes’ address, 10 Arkwright Road. Written in a frenzied manner, the postcard details a photograph taken by Hughes, a translation of Bartok and the war in Vietnam, through an imagined conversation with the then-president Lyndon B. Johnson; ‘(– Johnson, why R U warring in Vietnam? – because I’ve DECIDED to –)’. On the reverse is a textural abstract painting by Horovitz, featuring what is likely to be a stick man.  

Born to German-Jewish parents in 1935, Horovitz and his family moved to England in 1937 to escape Nazism. Horowitz went on to read English at Oxford, where he founded the periodical New Departures, publishing ground-breaking writers such as Samuel Beckett, William S. Burroughs and Olwyn’s brother, Ted Hughes. Horowitz has been celebrated as one of the leading poets of the UK Beat scene in the late fifties and early sixties. Particularly memorable is his performance at the New Moon Carnival of Poetry at the Royal Albert Hall in 1966 – three months prior to this postcard – which was reported as descending into ‘chaos and obscenity’ after ‘rowdiness, bad language and the breaking of glasses and bottles’ (Daily Telegraph). Horovitz is also remembered for his flamboyant dress and eccentric performances playing the “anglo-saxophone” kazoo in his band, The William Blake Klezmatrix.

This postcard is characteristic of Horowitz’ humour and anarchic style. Glue marks on verso suggest that it was previously displayed either in a frame or album. Some wear to verso, glue marks and light tearing.

Stock Code: 245461

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