A Forgotten Poet, a novella by Peter Cowlam

A Forgotten Poet follows the fortunes of diffident and reluctant man of letters, Harold Humber, from his early life in the English Midlands, through his post-war career as economist, jazz aficionado, expert in industrial architecture, and, in the final reckoning, author of four slim volumes of popular verse. While still studying for his degree he is besotted by arts bombardier Hugh Monmouth. Monmouth is determined to see that his Exe Set – the name given his group of poets and writers – is written into English bookish history as the driving force in a changing literary landscape. Monmouth uses his family connections with London publishing house Sabre and Sabre to launch his friend Humber into print, and deliver him as ‘the most important poet writing in English now’. That ‘now’ extends over the post-war period, into the counter-culture of the 1960s, into the industrial unrest of the 1970s, into the greed-is-good of the 1980s, through the dot-com bubble of the ’90s, and, after his death, into Sabre’s extensive archive. That archive’s files and papers fall, accidentally, into the ambit of indie publishing, twenty-first-century-style. When reopened, what new revelations are gleaned of the retiring Harold Humber and the narcissistic Hugh Monmouth? What are we to make, in light of new information, of Harold Humber, poet and economist, as we now learn of struggles throughout his working life, and the range of different disguises he met them with?

A Forgotten Poet is available on Kindle USA and Kindle UK