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Book club friends gather to remember ‘fascinating’ Horder

17 November, 2017 — By Emily Finch

John Horder

FRIENDS of an outgoing literary hero exchanged stories about the first time they met the poet at an Angel book club where he was a regular, writes Emily Finch.

John Horder, 80, was an explosive presence at the weekly meetings at the Claremont Project – a centre for the over-55s which hosts a range of activities as well as therapy sessions.

“He was fascinating, he told it like it is and he didn’t beat about the bush,” said book club friend Charles Kwokori, 57, who lives by the Barbican estate.

John was one of West Hampstead’s most recognisable figures where he was known as the literary critic who had interviewed Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes. He was also a poet himself and wrote on a variety of themes including what he could see out his lavatory window, as well as book reviews for the Tribune.

Another friend, Sara Bowman, said: “He was very funny and was incredibly well read. When I first met him it was at the newsagents and he was having a drama about the Guardian not being stocked.”

John’s hundreds of books, alongside his own works, will be catalogued and donated to Highgate Library.


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