William Robert ‘Bertie’ Rodgers, poet, broadcaster and Presbyterian minister, was born in Belfast in 1909. Educated at Queen’s University and at the Presbyterian Theological College, he penned linguistically rich, erotically charged poetry even while serving as a minister. His first collection, Awake! And other poems, appeared in 1941, though the first edition was almost totally lost when the publisher’s warehouse was destroyed in the London Blitz.
Rodgers left his post as minister at Loughgall, Co Armagh in 1946, and travelled to London to take up a job as a BBC producer. The move was largely instigated by his friend, drinking companion and fellow poet Louis MacNeice. A second collection of poetry, Europa and the Bull, was published in 1952, and his Collected Poems appeared after his death in 1971.
Collected Poems (1971) by WR Rodgers. Some of his papers are also held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.