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Dannie Abse

b. 1923

Dannie Abse (b. 1923) is a poet, playwright and novelist whose literary career spans half a century, the first of his fourteen collections of poetry, After Every Green Thing, being published in 1948...

Fleur Adcock

b. 1934

Fleur Adcock (b.1934) is a New Zealander by birth but spent part of her childhood in England, returning to live in London in 1963. She worked as a librarian until 1979 before becoming a freelance...

John Agard

b. 1949

A unique and energetic force in contemporary British poetry, John Agard's poems combine acute social observation, puckish wit and a riotous imagination to thrilling effect. Born in Guyana, South...

Allan Ahlberg

b. 1938

Allan Ahlberg (b. 1938) is one of Britain's best-loved children's writers. The author of over a hundred books, Allan has been delighting children of all ages for more than thirty years. Classic...

Fergus Allen

b. 1921

Fergus Allen was born in London in 1921, of an Anglo-Irish father and an English mother. After childhood and Quaker schools in Ireland, he read engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, where he wrote...

Simon Armitage

b. 1963

Simon Armitage (b. 1963) burst onto the poetry scene with Zoom! in 1989 and quickly established himself as the most high-profile poet in the group dubbed 'The New Generation'. Born and brought up in...

Matthew Arnold

b. 1822 d. 1888

Matthew Arnold was born in 1822, the son of the celebrated headmaster of Rugby, Thomas Arnold. Matthew attended Balliol College, Oxford and was a close friend of an older fellow Rugbeian, the poet...

John Ashbery

b. 1927

A native of Rochester, New York, John Ashbery (b. 1927) is the prolific author of twenty three volumes of poetry, plus fiction, plays and criticism. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards,...

Margaret Atwood

b. 1939

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) is familiar to readers all over the world as the author of some of the finest and most influential fiction of the last few decades. Titles like The Handmaid's Tale, Alias...

W. H. Auden

b. 1907 d. 1973

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) is one of the most influential voices in 20th Century poetry. It is impossible to summarise his achievements, ranging as they do across some four hundred poems in a...

A tour of the Archive with Mark Grist

Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken...

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The Sick Rose

William Blake

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Thomas Hardy

read by Anthony Thwaite