Poet Dannie Abse dies


The Welsh, Jewish poet Dannie Abse has died aged 91.

During a successful literary career that began in the 1940s, Mr Abse won a number of awards, while also practising medicine as a chest specialist.

Mr Abse died on September 28, surrounded by family, following a short illness.

The Cardiff-born poet was the youngest of four children; his elder brother Leo became the Labour MP for Pontypool.

He trained as a doctor in King’s College London and Westminster hospital and split his time between London – where he practised medicine – and Ogmore-by-Sea in South Wales.

His first book of poetry, After Every Green Thing, was published in 1949 and from then on he established himself as one of Wales’s finest modern writers, publishing works of fiction, poetry and autobiographies.

His wife of 54 years, Joan Abse, died tragically in a car accident in 2005. Mr Abse was deeply affected and wrote The Presence, a memoir about the year following her death, for which he won the 2008 Wales Book of the Year prize.

His many other accolades include a CBE in 2012 for services to poetry and literature, and the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award in 2009.

He is survived by his three children; Keren, Susanna and David.

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