Finlay resists easy categorisation. MacDiarmid was best man at his first wedding, though they later fell out with spectacular acrimony. Morgan, a friend and colleague, showed the self-taught Finlay a context for the work he’d been forging. Chopin was among his legion of collaborators. Among his correspondents were Creeley (who was influenced by him), Zukofsky, Houédard, de Campos (though they disagreed fundamentally about many things), Cobbing, Gomringer, Jandl, and Speer (about the garden he’d created in Spandau). A mild if complex man, he had a notoriously polemical relationship to authority.
The Benedictine monk Houédard is said to have had over 3000 names in his address book. Hausmann, Zukofsky, Ginsberg, Graves, Morgan, Burroughs, Kerouac, Cage, Boyle and Finlay were all among his correspondents. He helped Jarman with the Latin for his film ‘Sebastiane’, and collaborated with Cobbing.