[Kevin Bailey, editor of 'HQ Poetry Magazine', to playwright Christopher Fry.] Three Typed Letters Signed and one Autograph Letter Signed, discussing his magazine, its poets, his own poetry, Fry's work. With extract from one of his plays.

Kevin Bailey (b.1954), poet and editor of 'HQ Poetry Magazine', Swindon [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright, with Auden and Eliot a leading exponent of twentieth-century verse drama]
Publication details: 
HQ Poetry Magazine, 39 Exmouth Street, Swindon. Between 11 November 1998 and 20 July 1999.
SKU: 22910

A total of 8pp of closely-typed text. In good condition. Also present are an additional four-page copy on pink paper of the first letter and its enclosure. First letter signed 'Kevin Bailey', two others signed 'Kevin B.' aq2 One letter lacks its last page and signature. Long discursive letter, with Bailey discussing: his first meeting with Fry at the Actors Centre, Swindon; his sense of inadequacy in the face of Fry's other correspondents ('that letter from Lord Olivier is now firmly fixed in my memory'); a trip to Oxford bookshops; his discovery of Fry's work as a student at York; his admiration for the film maker Peter Greenaway; his desire that Fry might send 'a poem or two for use in the next issue of HQ' ('I can offer you a good audience. HQ has a most appreciative readership here and abroad and is taken by university and institutional libraries: New York, California, Moscow... even HMP Norwich (sent free of charge, just in case I ever need friends on the inside)'; his retirement from 'education work' ('at the age of forty-four I felt that twenty years of compromise between wage-slavery and editing and writing was enough') and pension; his recent poetry and editing work ('Shimon Weinroth, the Prof. of English at the University of Jerusalem has engaged me to check-over [sic] and edit his book of new poems due out next year. Small stuff but it pays a bill or two.'); his work at the Actors' Centre; his interest in astronomy ('often meeting Patric Moore at Meetings of the British Astronomical Association'); his 'part-time job with the charity MENCAP'; his friend the 'fine and innovative poet' Mike Hogan, an admirer of Fry's work ('Faber have just taken up his six-book poem'); Gary Bills, 'who is being published by Harry Chambers at Peterloo next year'; the recognition of a magazine's poets being a 'sign of maturation'; his 'cash flow hit' and the 'realities of tyrying to be a proper writer'; his desire to visit Fry; his 'faith' ('a private matter and very much sans religion'); his belief in 'the Art first and the ego second'; his admiration for 'Edward Thomas (I have a bush of Old Man taken as a cutting from the original and given to me by Annie Thomas, daughter the younger, at Eastbury - I am a Berkshire man; born at Wallingford and farmers for half a millennium at Yattendon... Robert Bridges was, I think, my paternal Grandmother's great uncle...)'. In the first letter (11 November 1998) he asks Fry, with his 'lifetime of experience to share', to 'set down, say, five golden rules for the poetic playwright [...] I feel like Morgana le Fey asking Merlin for the secret of Making... I promise to use the magic wisely.' The first letter is accompanied by two pages of dialogue between 'Edward' and 'Helen', with autograph note: 'A small selection from one of my still-born Verse plays. | K. B.' (Copies of the letter, dated 10 November 1998, and enclosure, are present.) In the second letter, 11 February 1999, Bailey thanks Fry for sending the poem 'Caedmon Construed' for publication in his magazine. He is 'very willing to use it', but 'would still like to use the speech from Venus - partly because I happen to think it very good indeed but also because I wanted to encourage HQ readers to seek out the play, and from that your other plays. As you know, although HQ, like all small press magazines, has a relatively small circulation, it is read by the right people in the right places all over the world. It is taken by a number of UK and US university libraries and others... It never does any harm to advertise ones work. I'm pretty sure it would generate interest from American and Indian subscribers (strangely enough recently I have had a lot of correspondence from India, Turkey, and Goa and can only assume that HQ's equivalent of Typhoid Mary - an enthusiastic reader - is journeying in the Middle East and spreading an infectious enthusiasm for the magazine... Even a letter from Prof. R. K. Singh head of the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad... hm, curious...). A gentle twisting of your arm - let me know. I shall not labour the point.' The third letter,15 March 1999, lacks its last page. The final letter, 20 July 1999, is in autograph, 'telegraphic-style, very rushed'. He thanks Fry for his 'contribution to No 22, and is pleased to have met him 'in London earlier in the year'.