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Lowbury, Edward 1913–2007

Lowbury, Edward 1913–2007

(Edward Joseph Lister Lowbury)


See index for CA sketch: Born December 6, 1913, in London, England; died July 10, 2007, in London, England. Microbiologist, physician, educator, poet, and author. Lowbury's greatest contributions to mankind may have emerged from his medical career as a burn specialist and microbiologist, but it is his poetry that people remember. When he was awarded the Newdigate Prize for best composition in English verse by an undergraduate as a student at Oxford University, it might have seemed that he was headed for a career as a poet but, as he once told CA, the poetry had to be fitted into weekends and holidays so that he could focus on his medical calling. Lowbury spent thirty years as a specialist in the treatment of burns and related infections at the Birmingham Accident Hospital. He was particularly concerned about the infectious diseases that proliferated in hospital settings and founded the Control of Hospital Infection Research Laboratory in 1966. After retirement from medical practice in 1979, Lowbury spent another ten years as an honorary professor of medical microbiology at the University of Aston in Birmingham. Finally, in 1989 he was able to focus on his writing, but poetry had never been far from his mind. Over forty years as a medical professional Lowbury published more than twenty poetry collections, including Fire: A Symphonic Ode (1934), originally the subject of his student award. Subsequent well-received volumes include Crossing the Line (1947) and Time for Sale (1961). Another half-dozen collections emerged during his retirement, including Collected Poems, 1934-1972 and Mystic Bridge, published in 1966. Lowbury's interest in the arts was not limited to poetry. He was a pianist and a founding member of the Birmingham Chamber Music Society, and one of his coauthored books was a biography of the composer Thomas Campion. Lowbury also wrote medical books, essays, and even a children's book. He edited a poetry collection by his father-in-law, Andrew Young, and coauthored a critical biography of the poet.



Times (London, England), August 6, 2007, p. 51.

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