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This article is taken from PN Review 233, Volume 43 Number 3, January - February 2017.

A Tribute Elise Paschen
I had admired the poetry and the critical work of John Fuller and, when I arrived at Magdalen College in the autumn of 1982, I looked forward to studying with him. At Magdalen, I soon discovered that John also was the publisher of the Sycamore Press, and that he had published chapbooks of some of my favourite poets, including James Fenton and Andrew Motion. Sycamore Press had just produced Mick Imlah’s The Zoologist’s Bath and Other Adventures, a poetry collection which made an impact on us all.

During that first year of my M.Phil. course I studied the poetry of W. H. Auden with John, and once a week we would meet in his rooms at the New Building to discuss Auden’s work. At that time John invited me to join the Florio Society, a group of Magdalen writers who gathered together to discuss each other’s poems. If anyone became too self-congratulatory, Bernard O’Donoghue, a Florio Society member, would tease, ‘More power to your elbow.’ John urged us to work on our poems, and at Magdalen College he created a close-knit community of poets and poetry lovers.

In the spring of 1983, John encouraged Mick Imlah, Nicholas Jenkins, Nicola Richards and me to launch the literary magazine Oxford Poetry. Since that time, he has navigated the journal through a succession of editors. When we served as co-editors, John showed us how to edit a magazine, even driving us around London to help distribute the journals to book stores.

Some time in 1984 (I had completed my ...


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