Dom F. Moraes Collection
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Biographical / Historical Note

I. Moraes was born and raised in India - primarily Bombay - of a wealthy family from a part of India colonized by the Portuguese. His father was a journalist and editor of The Times of India, which required him to travel a good deal. The young Dom accompanied him periodically and by the age of 15 had visited Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaya, Indochina, Burma and Pakistan, many of which were observed during turbulent political events. Moraes states that he began writing poetry very early and that he kept notes for poems on all his travels. Through his father he had earlier met Stephen Spender and shown him his poems with the result that a page was published in Encounter. He renewed his acquaintance with Spender upon his arrival in London and through his weekly dinners with him was introduced to numerous influential literary personsages. Upon going up to Oxford he became involved with the University poets and during his study under Auden and Tate, published his first volume of poems, A Beginning, 1956, which was awarded the Hawthornden Prize in 1958 as the year's best imaginative work. He took his degree in 1959 and returned for a visit to India, out of which Gone Away, An Indian Journey, was written and published in 1960. Considered a travel book, it is a combination essay-study of Indian scenes and reflections on the nature of art and artists. Other publications, including translations, are Poems (1960), John Nobody (1965), Poems 1955-1965 (1966), My Son's Father, an autobiography, (1968) and The Brass Serpent. He has published poems in Poetry, Harper's, Atlantic, Horizon and articles on India in the New York Times Magazine.