- The Washington Times - Friday, April 14, 2006

OREM, Utah (AP) — Renowned poet Leslie Norris, a native of Wales who most recently served as a professor and emeritus poet-in-residence at Brigham Young University, died April 6 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 84.

Mr. Norris was known for capturing the power of nature and the universal sensibilities it could represent.

Born George Leslie Norris, he rode a bicycle from his home in South Wales as a teenager to hear a group of poets read their work in a room above a bookstore. Among them was a young Dylan Thomas. Decades later, Mr. Norris would read poetry at the unveiling of Mr. Thomas’ memorial stone at Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner.

Mr. Norris earned the David Higham Memorial Prize, the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award, the Welsh Arts Council Senior Fiction Award and the Cholmondeley Prize, which is widely considered Britain’s greatest poetry award.

He was the first writer to be named a member of both the Welsh Academy and Britain’s Royal Society of Literature.

Mr. Norris was first invited to speak at Brigham Young University in the 1970s. That led to a weeklong seminar and later a year as a guest professor.

He moved to Utah in 1983 and was named a Brigham Young humanities professor of creative writing and poet in residence, a title he continued to hold after his official retirement in 2003.

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