When Moss Rich launched Requiem for a Typewriter at Borders in 2005, the
audience were lucky to hear the work of a 95-year old man rightly billed as 'Britain’s
Oldest Working Poet'. By then blind and reciting his work entirely from memory, Moss remained
an extraordinarily vital and compelling presence. His work exhibits a satirical bite sharpened by
over four decades' writing poetry and a career as an advertising executive. Even in his final
years he remained as prolific as ever.
He claimed to have started writing poetry in the 1970s, but his wife Milly remembers him writing her love poems as early as the 1930s. In 1975 he sent a satirical poem about the Harold Wilson government to a political columnist at The Times. He was surprised to see that they published it and even more so to receive a cheque for 'two and a half or three guineas' in payment for the piece. Rich said, 'From then on, I began taking poetry seriously', although in light of his wicked sense of humour, it might be fair to say not too seriously.
Rich’s work eschews abstraction and claims to be 'highbrow', reflecting instead a penetrating, earthy intellect and wicked sense of irony. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, newpapers and anthologies, including The Penguin Book of Limericks (1983) and Unsuitable Companions (2007). His collections Good Morning Sunshine (2007) and A Patch of Land to House Six Million Ghosts (2010) are published through his own Writers Inn imprint and he has three more publications in the pipeline. Moss Rich died in 2011, and soon after his passing, Pighog established a highly popular Poetry Prize in his honour.