PJ Harvey donates poem and photograph during visit to Dorset Museum


Dorset-born singer-songwriter, musician and poet PJ Harvey donated his Dorset dialect narrative poem Orlam to the Dorset Museum during a recent visit.

Accompanied by her mother Eva, Harvey spent an afternoon at the museum, starting with the museum library, and presented Acting Director Elizabeth Selby with a hand-corrected proof of the book and a signed photograph of the singer wearing traditional Dorset buttons.

Harvey drew on the work of 19th-century Dorset dialect poet and co-founder of the Dorset Museum, William Barnes, to write Orlam. The Museum said it hopes to display the items donated by Harvey in the near future.

A number of items from the Museum’s William Barnes collection were shown to Harvey, including manuscript poems, first editions of published works and a replica of a humstrum, a traditional instrument described by Barnes in his poem The Humstrum .

Harvey released her debut album Dry with her band PJ Harvey in 1992. She is the only musician to have been awarded the Mercury Music Prize twice, in 2001 and 2011. In 2013 she received an MBE for services to music .

Elizabeth Selby, Acting Director of the Dorset Museum, said: “We are delighted and honored that PJ Harvey has chosen to donate these wonderful objects to the museum ahead of Orlam’s publication.

“She is part of a long tradition of writers including William Barnes, Thomas Hardy and Sylvia Townsend Warner whose work is shaped by Dorset and who are represented in the Museum’s collections. It is normal for these objects to be deposited here.

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