Professor Paul Farley is featured in Picture the Poet, an exhibition of photographic portraits of living British poets.
Paul Farley, a professor in the Department of English and Creative Writing, is a poet, writer and broadcaster, whose collections include The Ice Age, Tramp in Flames and The Dark Film.
The exhibition provides an insight into the men and women who have produced some of Britain’s best-loved poetry over the last sixty years. Professor Farley’s portrait appears as part of a collection of nearly fifty high quality photographs, which includes Benjamin Zephaniah, Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy.
The portraits, captured by equally well-known and respected photographers, are as diverse as the work of the poets themselves. Some portray close-up, serious faces, while others appear smiling and in very ordinary settings.
Reflecting on his portrait, Professor Farley said: “My portrait was taken by a brilliant photographer called Rizwan Mirza, who photographed me a couple of times way back in 2001 – once in London, and once while I was having a fry-up at my then favourite greasy spoon cafe in Liverpool. It's this latter one which is on display. It's a great honour to be hanging on the walls with poets I love and admire. I wish I'd been captured looking windswept and Byronic, or drinking whiskey in a New York bar, or taking a digestif in a terrace cafe in Florence. But bacon and eggs on Merseyside is probably about right.”
The National Portrait Gallery exhibition is touring over the next two years to six regional venues, and is currently at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston until 11 April.
Paul Farley’s portrait is part of a body of work Rizwan Mirza produced called Poetry Seen, which was published as a book in 2002.