James L. Orwin


James L. Orwin

JAMES L. ORWIN was born in Scotland. Educated at Riley Technical High School in Hull, he left school aged 16 — with three O’ Levels and a CSE — to begin an apprenticeship as a painter and decorator. In 1982 (with a mortgage and two children) he was made redundant, and consequently made the decision to become a sole-trader, setting up his own Painting & Decorating business.

In 2000, he began studying for a degree with the Open University (He was awarded a 2:1 BSc (Honours) Information Technology and Computing in 2009). It was around this time (late 1999/early 2000) that he also became an active member of The Philip Larkin Society, which led to a long-term research interest in musical settings of Philip Larkin’s poetry. Prominent Larkin scholar Dr John Osborne, in his monograph
Larkin, Ideology and Critical Violence: A Case of Wrongful Conviction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) refers to him as ‘the the world authority on musical settings of Philip Larkin’s poetry’.

In 2010, as part of the activities organised to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Philip Larkin’s death, he curated (and was executive producer of) all night north, a CD of new songs by young bands and songwriters from Hull using poems by Philip Larkin as lyrics.

He has published two short collections of poetry: Hold Something Warm (1996) and Lost Thoughts and Radio Waves (1999), and has had several articles (and a number of his poems) published in About Larkin, the biannual journal of The Philip Larkin Society. He has presented papers relating to his specialist subject at a number of academic conferences and Study Days. As a poet, he has had work published in several small magazines and anthologies, including The Rialto, Magma, The Hull Connection and 10 Miles East of England.

As a tribute to his late friend, Jean Hartley, he has compiled an Index to her memoir: ‘Philip Larkin, the Marvel Press and Me: an Index’ (ISBN: 978-0-9932330-0-5), published by dancing sisters on 1 May 2015.

His children’s verse tale, The First Boxing Day was published in a signed and numbered, limited-edition of 125 copies, (and also in ebook format) on 1st September 2015.

On 1 January 2017, to coincide with the beginning of Hull’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2017, his Hull 2017: 2,017 facts about Hull and people associated with the city was published in an eBook Kindle edition, available from all Amazon stores. The physical paperback (complete with Index)—as with previous Dancing Sisters publications, in a signed Limited Edition of 125—was published on1 May 2017.