Vale Michael Horovitz OBE (1935-2021)
8 July 2021
Michael Horovitz OBE, who died yesterday (7 July), was a poet, jazz troubadour, visual artist, the founder and editor of New Departures (1959 onwards) and organiser of the live Jazz Poetry SuperJams and Poetry Olympics festivals. He was a legendary long-term resident of Notting Hill and the coming of Spring in W11 was heralded most years by Michael out and about in the neighbourhood resplendent in in his favourite floral shirt.
In 1989, England & Co held a memorable solo exhibition of his work at their first gallery space, and published a catalogue with Michael, Michael Horovitz: Bop Paintings, collages & picture-poems, 1962-1971. The catalogue cover featured his large painting A Postcard from Ireland, a work that was accompanied at the private view by an extraordinarily energetic perfomance of his poem of the same name – an excerpt: “Behold out of nowhere a message emblazoned across the sky / ‘Guinness for strength’ / The complete angler is silent / Bringing his catch of a lifetime to land / Only these words are incumbent upon him / But the giant fish as it leaps from the stream / Gut curdles / Its death throes / From the end of the line”.