Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

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Selected Poems
256 pages; Penguin
"Harrison is the best British poet of the second half of the 20th century," says Daniel Radcliffe. "He writes about class, love, Britain, and it's all just brilliant." Harrison's skillful blend of formal meter and colloquialisms "showed me that poetry could use real language and be angry and beautiful. He made me feel something on a gut level that I had never experienced before, and that energized me to write my own," says Radcliffe, who, at 17, sent off a packet of his poems to Harrison. "He wrote back basically saying they're good, but try to get a handle on meter."
— As told to Naomi Barr