Thwaite chaired the Booker prize panel in 1986, reading every one of the 128 novels submitted. In the depths of the cold war, he smuggled a manuscript by the poet Miroslav Holub out of Czechoslovakia. To mark his 50th birthday in 1980, his wife, Ann, brought together work by poets who provided handwritten manuscripts in his honor. Philip Larkin, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Paul Muldoon and Seamus Heaney were among the contributors.
The poet Anthony Thwaite, who has died aged 90, was a mover and shaker in postwar English literary life. He was in turn literary editor of the Listener and the New Statesman, and co-editor of Encounter. He worked as a producer at the BBC, and was a prolific author, reviewer and lecturer, traveling across the world for the British Council.