Tributes paid to Gosport author Harry Haines

Harry Haines
Harry Haines

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LOVING tributes have been paid to a poet who had three books published.

Harry Haines died earlier this month from a sudden illness aged 95.

Mr Haines, from Gosport, had three books of poetry published and would read his works at festivals and libraries throughout the county.

Leah Cohen, who knew him through his works, said: ‘Harry was a powerful, strong man.

‘His work was amazing and he dedicated so much time to his poems.

‘His poems could move people to tears, especially the one about his daughter who sadly died in a car crash.

‘When he read it, it was so powerful and you could see how much he put into it.’

Leah and her partner Jake would go for lunch with Mr Haines and his partner Vera.

Vera died in 2012 and Leah said she was loved by everyone.

She added: ‘Vera was amazing.

‘She was an Auschwitz survivor and wrote a book about that so they were both into their literature.

‘They were just lovely, genuine people.’

Mr Haines recently read at the Havant Festival and was interviewed by director Tim Dawes.

Mr Dawes said: ‘Harry lived a long and full life with four children from his first marriage – three of whom survive him.

‘Of course he also enjoyed 40 years of happiness with his beloved Vera.

‘I am so glad that we managed to have Harry at this year’s Havant Literary Festival where he was very sprightly being interviewed by me and held an audience once more with his work, read by his friends and himself.

‘We will miss you, Harry.’

Mr Haines was born in Portsmouth and served as an aircraft engineer in the RAF throughout the Second World War, which included tours in the Middle East and Italy.

After the war he spent 20 years as a worker in the Leicestershire coalfields and became known as the Miner Poet.

His poems have been widely published in magazines like the New Statesman, The Listener and The New Yorker.

In his spare time, Mr Haines liked to sail and was a member of Hardway Sailing Club.

Click here to see Harry Haines read ‘Portsmouth Harbour’ & ‘Poem to be Read in a Pub’