1 - 20 of 111 results


W. H. Auden

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...
Elizabeth Bartlett

Elizabeth Bartlett

b. 1924 d. 2008

Elizabeth Bartlett (1924 - 2008) grew up in Deal, Kent. Her childhood was one of hardship and although she gained a grammar school scholarship she left education at fifteen. At nineteen she married...
Patricia Beer

Patricia Beer

b. 1924 d. 1999

Patricia Beer (1924-1999) was born in Exmouth, Devon, into a Plymouth Brethren family, a childhood she recalls vividly in her autobiography Mrs Beer's House. Educated at Exmouth Grammar School,...
Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc

b. 1870 d. 1953

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was a larger-than-life character who is now best known for his Cautionary Verses but who also wrote fiction, essays, history, biography and huge numbers of letters. He was...

Connie Bensley

b. 1929

Knowing, precise and often cheerfully acerbic, Connie Bensley’s poems revel in poking gentle fun at the self-deceptions and delusions of middle-class suburban life. Whether she brings her lapidary...
John Betjeman

John Betjeman

b. 1906 d. 1984

John Betjeman (1906-1984) achieved huge success during his lifetime and continues to retain his 'National Treasure' status more than twenty years after his death. His gift for comic writing, his...
Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

b. 1911 d. 1979

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) at the time of her death was respected as a "writer's writer" on account of her technical mastery and exemplary patience and dedication to her craft. Since then her...
Edmund Blunden

Edmund Blunden

b. 1896 d. 1974

Edmund Blunden (1896-1974) is a poet whose work and life were moulded by his experience of the First World War. Blunden was born in London but grew up in Kent, a childhood which laid the foundation...
Louise Bogan

Louise Bogan

b. 1897 d. 1970

Born in Maine in 1897, Louise Bogan was the daughter of a mill worker and a mentally and emotionally unstable mother. Her childhood was restless: as the Bogans moved from one New England town to the...
Charles Brasch

Charles Brasch

b. 1909 d. 1973

Charles Brasch belonged to a generation of New Zealand poets who, rising to prominence in the 1940s, expressed anxieties that, while personal and pākehā (non-Māori), seemed endemic to both the nation...

Kamau Brathwaite

b. 1930

In its insistent rhythms and vivid parsing of postcolonial histories, Kamau Brathwaite’s poetry is among the most significant to emerge from the West Indies in the last century. Born in Barbados in...
Edwin Brock

Edwin Brock

b. 1927 d. 1997

Edwin Brock (1927-1997) wrote two of the best-known poems of the last century, 'Five Ways to Kill a Man' and 'Song of the Battery Hen', but his work deserves wider recognition beyond these anthology...
Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks

b. 1917 d. 2000

Gwendolyn Brooks grew up in Chicago in a poor yet stable and loving family. Her father was a janitor who had hoped to become a doctor; her mother a teacher and classically trained pianist. Brooks was...
George Mackay Brown

George Mackay Brown

b. 1921 d. 1996

George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) was born in the remote Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland and apart from two periods of education at Newbattle Abbey College and the University of...
Basil Bunting

Basil Bunting

b. 1900 d. 1985

Basil Bunting (1900-1985) is best known for his long poem 'Briggflatts' which has come to be recognised as one of the key texts of British modernism. 'Briggflatts' was the culmination of a lifelong...
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

b. 1925 d. 2009

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell was the first Polynesian poet to have a collection published in English, Mine Eyes Dazzle, published in 1950. The attractive qualities of his poems are obvious: confident...
Hayden Carruth

Hayden Carruth

b. 1921 d. 2008

Hayden Carruth was born in 1921, in Waterbury, Connecticut, and educated at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Chicago where he gained an MA. After serving in...
Charles Causley

Charles Causley

b. 1917 d. 2003

Charles Causley (1917-2003) was born and brought up in Launceston, Cornwall and lived there for most of his life. When he was only seven his father died from wounds sustained during the First World...
Amy Clampitt

Amy Clampitt

b. 1920 d. 1994

Amy Clampitt was born in Iowa in 1920 and grew up on the 300-acre farm owned by her Quaker grandparents in New Providence. She spent much of her childhood exploring the countryside which, coupled...
Austin Clarke

Austin Clarke

b. 1896 d. 1974

Austin Clarke (1896-1974), along with Louis MacNeice and Patrick Kavanagh, is regarded as one of the leading Irish poets in the generation after Yeats. Born in Dublin he spent most of his life in...
E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings

b. 1894 d. 1962

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) was born and brought up in Cambridge Massachusetts, and is remembered above all for his startling innovations in syntax and typography. His early experiments in poetry...
Allen Curnow

Allen Curnow

b. 1911 d. 2001

Allen Curnow (1911-2001) is a central figure in the emergence of an authentic New Zealand literature. A clue to this pivotal role can perhaps be traced in the fruitful duality of his parentage: born...
Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

b. 1916 d. 1990

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) is one of the most successful children's writers in the world: around thirty million of his books have been sold in the U.K. alone. Children love his poems and stories because...
W.H Davies

W. H. Davies

b. 1871 d. 1940

The Welsh poet William Henry Davies wrote the poem ‘Leisure’, which famously begins:‘What is this life if, full of care,/We have no time to stand and stare.’
The poem’s theme is reflected in Davies’s...
C. Day Lewis

C. Day Lewis

b. 1904 d. 1972

Cecil Day-Lewis (who wrote as C. Day Lewis) was born in Ireland in 1904, the son of a Church of Ireland minister. The family moved to England in 1905 and his mother died three years later, when Cecil...
Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare

b. 1873 d. 1956

Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) was the prolific author of many volumes of poetry, short stories and novels, including one of the most enduringly popular poems in the English language, 'The Listeners...
W.E.B. DuBois

W. E. B. DuBois

b. 1868 d. 1963

Sociologist, civil rights campaigner, historian, Harvard graduate, anti-war activist, academic, essayist, novelist, communist and, of course, poet, W.E.B. DuBois was passionately committed to...
T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot

b. 1888 d. 1965

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) as a poet and critic came to define the modernist movement and still dominates the literary landscape of the last century. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri to a prominent...
William Empson

William Empson

b. 1906 d. 1984

William Empson (1906-1984) is best remembered as one of the most important and idiosyncratic literary critics of the 20th Century but he was also an influential poet whose output, though small, was...
D. J. Enright

D. J. Enright

b. 1920 d. 2002

D. J. Enright (1920-2002) was born in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, into a family of modest means. However, the young Dennis won a place at Downing College, Cambridge where he was influenced by...
Gavin Ewart

Gavin Ewart

b. 1916 d. 1995

Gavin Ewart was born in London in 1916, of Scottish descent. He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and Christ’s College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Ewart was literary editor of Granta...
John Fairfax

John Fairfax

b. 1930 d. 2009

John Fairfax (1930 – 2009) was a remarkable poet whose reputation has largely been overshadowed by his achievement as co-founder of the celebrated Arvon Foundation. Yet his poetry deserves better,...
U. A. Fanthorpe

U A Fanthorpe

b. 1929 d. 2009

U. A. Fanthorpe (1929 - 2009) spent her earliest years in Kent. She attended St Anne's College Oxford afterwards becoming a teacher and ultimately Head of English at Cheltenham Ladies' College....
Janet Frame

Janet Frame

b. 1924 d. 2004

Known primarily as a prose-writer, Janet Frame’s passion since the age of nine was for poetry. She never stopped writing poems, expressing the recurrent themes of nature, animals, people, death and...
Robert Frost

Robert Frost

b. 1874 d. 1963

Robert Lee Frost, named after the Confederate general, was born in 1874 in California, nine years after the end of the Civil War. His father was an unsuccessful politician and a severe and humourless...
David Gascoyne

David Gascoyne

b. 1916 d. 2001

David Gascoyne (1916-2001) was born in Harrow, the son of a bank manager, and educated at Salisbury Cathedral School. However, it didn't take the young Gascoyne long to leave this conservative...
Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg

b. 1926 d. 1997

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) is cherished as the pivotal figure between the 50s Beat Generation and the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s. He was born in Newark, New Jersey the son of a high...
Denis Glover

Denis Glover

b. 1912 d. 1980

Denis Glover emerged as a poet in New Zealand in the 1930s, one of the new artistic generation of modernists and nationalists. A product of two of New Zealand’s elite secondary schools — Auckland...
W. S. Graham

W. S. Graham

b. 1918 d. 1986

W. S. Graham (1918-1986) was neglected in his own lifetime but his reputation as a major modernist romantic has been growing steadily since his death, with the help of influential champions such as...
Robert Graves

Robert Graves

b. 1895 d. 1985

Robert Graves (1895-1985) was a writer of extraordinary breadth whose output ranges from a classic account of his First World War experiences, Goodbye to All That, through the "potboiler" (his own...
Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke

b. 1964

Vona Groarke is one of the leading Irish poets of her generation. Born in Mostrim, Ireland, she studied at Trinity College, Dublin and University College, Cork. She has held positions at Villanova...
Harry Guest

Harry Guest

b. 1932

Harry Guest was born in Wales in 1932. After four years at Malvern College, he read Modern Languages at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, before attending the Sorbonne, where he wrote a thesis on Stéphane...
Thom Gunn

Thom Gunn

b. 1929 d. 2004

Thom Gunn (1929-2004) is a poet whose work thrives on contrast and contradiction: English tradition and American idiom; strict form and free verse; intellectual discipline and physical hedonism are...

Ivor Gurney

b. 1890 d. 1937

Ivor Gurney suffered periods of mental ill health before the First World War, but his condition had deteriorated significantly by the end of the conflict. He had joined up after initially being...
Michael Hamburger

Michael Hamburger

b. 1924 d. 2007

Michael Hamburger (1924 - 2007) was born into a German family of Jewish descent in Berlin, emigrating with them to England in 1933. He attended Westminster School and read Modern Languages at Christ...
Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

b. 1840 d. 1928

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840, the son of a stonemason. He trained and practised as an architect, but, as soon as he could, earned his living by writing the novels which made him famous. Then, after...
F. W. Harvey

F. W. Harvey

b. 1888 d. 1957

Frederick William Harvey is remembered today as a poet and central figure in a circle, including Ivor Gurney and Herbert Howells, which emerged in Gloucester before the First World War. In the inter-...
Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

b. 1939 d. 2013

Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013) was the eldest child of nine born to a farming family in County Derry, Northern Ireland. He won a scholarship to St Columb's College, Derry, beginning an academic career...
John Heath-Stubbs

John Heath Stubbs

b. 1918 d. 2006

John Heath-Stubbs (1918 - 2006) recalled how the teacher at his tiny village school read her pupils Our Island Story, sparking in him the lifelong fascination with history that informed his poetic...
Adrian Henri

Adrian Henri

b. 1932 d. 2000

Adrian Henri (1932-2000) was a much-loved figure in the world of performance poetry, fine art and beyond. Born in Birkenhead, Henri grew up in Rhyl, Wales, during the war years and trained as a...
Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes

b. 1930 d. 1998

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) is a brooding presence in the landscape of 20th Century poetry, not unlike the six hundred feet-high Scout Rock which overshadowed his Yorkshire childhood. Hughes' early...
Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

b. 1902 d. 1967

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was the first black writer in America to earn his living from writing. Born in Joplin, Missouri, he had a migratory childhood following his parents' separation, spending...
Alan Jenkins

Alan Jenkins

b. 1955

Alan Jenkins was born in Surrey in 1955 and has lived for most of his life in London.  He studied at the University of Sussex and has worked for the Times Literary Supplement since 1981, first as...
Elizabeth Jennings

Elizabeth Jennings

b. 1926 d. 2001

Elizabeth Jennings (1926-2001) was born in Boston, Lincolnshire but moved to Oxford at the age of six where she lived for the rest of her life. She studied at St. Anne's College, Oxford and worked in...
M. K. Joseph

M. K. Joseph

b. 1914 d. 1981

M. K. (Michael Kennedy) Joseph was among the foremost New Zealand writers of his generation, both as poet and novelist.
Born in Chingford, Essex to Catholic parents, who, after some years in post-...
Patrick Kavanagh

Patrick Kavanagh

b. 1905 d. 1967

Patrick Kavanagh (1904-67) is one of Ireland's best-loved poets: when the Irish Times compiled a list of favourite Irish poems in 2000, ten of Kavanagh's were in the top fifty, with only Yeats's name...
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

b. 1865 d. 1936

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay (present day Mumbai). His father was a teacher in a local school of art. At the age of six he was sent to England to be educated and spent a miserable...
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

b. 1947

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s poetry is notable for its quiet command of the reader’s attention; the small details of everyday life in India are its currency. ‘Ironing Lady’, a series of neat...
Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz

b. 1905 d. 2006

Stanley Kunitz [1905-2006] is a towering figure in American poetry, not just by dint of his longevity, but for the fact that he was still producing some of his finest work well into his nineties. His...
RF Langley

RF Langley

b. 1938 d. 2011

R. F. Langley (1938-2011), was not a prolific poet, but his work was noticed as long ago as 1979 by Jeff Nuttall, in his column in the Guardian, for its "sense of rhythm, sound and ...a concentrated...
Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin

b. 1922 d. 1985

Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is a poet whose very name conjures up a specific persona: the gloomy, death-obsessed and darkly humorous observer of human foibles and failings. The truth, both about the...
D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence

b. 1885 d. 1930

A miner’s son from Nottingham, Lawrence was a prolific writer of short stories, essays, poems and novels before his death at the age of forty‑four in 1930. He was a rebellious, restless and polemical...
Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee

b. 1914 d. 1997

Laurie Lee (1914-1997) is famous for the life he wrote about so engagingly in three volumes of autobiography, but his first love was always poetry, a passion that left its mark on his precise and...

Melissa Lee-Houghton

b. 1982

Fearless, naked and knowing, Melissa Lee-Houghton’s poems square up to the wildest reaches of our emotional lives. Hers is a poetry of excess, of the beautiful mess and complex depths of life as it...
Geoffrey Lehmann

Geoffrey Lehmann

b. 1940

Geoffrey Lehmann was born in Sydney in 1940, his childhood was spent at McMahon's Point on Sydney Harbour.  Educated at Anglican schools, Lehmann went on to study arts and law, graduating from the...

Laurence Lerner

b. 1925 d. 2016

Witty and warm, expressed in musical but plain language, Laurence Lerner’s poems cast an intelligent and human eye over the lives we variously lead. His first published collections introduce an...
Christopher Logue

Christopher Logue

b. 1926 d. 2011

Christopher Logue (1926 - 2011) spent over forty years working on his contemporary version of Homer's Iliad. Begun in 1959 the project expanded into five full-length collections, known collectively...
Hugh MacDiarmid

Hugh MacDiarmid

b. 1892 d. 1978

Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978) remains a controversial and influential figure. Born a postman's son in Langholm Dumfriesshire, he trained to be a school teacher in Edinburgh, then worked on local...
Louis MacNeice

Louis MacNeice

b. 1907 d. 1963

Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) was a friend and contemporary of W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender at Oxford and his poetry has often been linked to their own. Whilst sharing certain characteristics with...
E A Markham

E A Markham

b. 1939 d. 2008

E A Markham (1939-2008) had a career that embraced the range of literary life, and more. Aside from his poetry, for which he was nominated for the T S Eliot Prize in 2002, he wrote novels, essays,...
Samuel Menashe

Samuel Menashe

b. 1925 d. 2011

Samuel Menashe (1925 - 2011) enlisted in 1943, and was sent to the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia, then to England (Cheshire) for further training. His division fought in France, Belgium (...
Charlotte Mew

Charlotte Mew

b. 1869 d. 1928

Charlotte Mew was surrounded by mental ill health and death from a young age. Three brothers died while she was still a child and two other siblings were committed to mental institutions. She vowed...
Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan

b. 1918 d. 2002

Terence Alan Milligan, known as 'Spike' (1918-2002) dedicated his life to making people laugh, through his performances on radio and television, through his poems and memoirs, and often just by being...
Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell

b. 1932 d. 2008

Adrian Mitchell (1932 - 2008) was a hugely prolific writer, the author of a great number of novels, plays and poems, for adults and, increasingly, for children - he wrote that "more and more of my...
Edwin Morgan

Edwin Morgan

b. 1920 d. 2010

Edwin Morgan (1920 - 2010) was born and educated in Glasgow, where he returned to lecture in English Literature at Glasgow University after a period in the army. He was the author of many books,...
Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov

b. 1920 d. 1991

Howard Nemerov was born into a wealthy and sophisticated New York family in 1920. His sister was the photographer Diane Arbus, and as children their father who was a painter, art connoisseur and...
Norman Nicholson

Norman Nicholson

b. 1914 d. 1987

Norman Nicholson (1914-1987) and his poetry are inextricably bound up with the former iron-mining town of Millom, on the edge of the Lake District in Cumbria. Apart from several years spent in a TB...

Bernard O'Donoghue

b. 1945

Bernard O'Donoghue's poetry is marked by a gift for poetic portraiture, sketching characters at moments of emotional intensity. From encounters during his childhood in Ireland, to elegiac...
Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen

b. 1893 d. 1918

The poems that made Wilfred Owen famous were mostly published after his death in action a week before the end of the First World War. Powerfully influenced by Keats and Shelley, he experimented with...
Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips

b. 1950

Born in Barbados, where she still resides, Esther Phillips graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami in 1999, winning the Alfred Boas Poetry Prize of the Academy of...
Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter

b. 1930 d. 2008

Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008) is best known for theatrical work, but was a poet before a playwright, and in early 2005, told the BBC that he was leaving plays to focus on poetry and political speeches...
Ruth Pitter

Ruth Pitter

b. 1897 d. 1992

Ruth Pitter (1897-1992) lived a life of quiet dedication to her art not unlike that of her more famous contemporary, Elizabeth Jennings, who wrote the introduction to a Selected edition of Pitter's...
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

b. 1932 d. 1963

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) is a poet whose troubled life and powerful work remains a source of controversy. Born in Boston in the USA she was precociously intelligent, publishing her first poem at the...
Peter Porter

Peter Porter

b. 1929 d. 2010

Peter Porter's (1929-2010) urbane poetry was first published in 1961, since when he published sixteen collections and much journalism, collaborated with visual arts, and was Writer-in-Residence at...
Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound

b. 1885 d. 1972

Ezra Pound (1885-1972) is now recognised as the central figure of Anglo/American modernism, the man who did most to shape the movement which in turn did most to shape the 20th Century cultural...
Kathleen Raine

Kathleen Raine

b. 1908 d. 2003

Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) was the author of twelve books of poetry, four of autobiography, and much scholarly work, particularly on Blake and Yeats, which prove her transcendent understanding of the...
Gloria Rawlinson

Gloria Rawlinson

b. 1918 d. 1995

Born in Tonga close to the end of the First World War, Gloria Rawlinson was a major New Zealand poet, biographer and editor. After her parents’ divorce, she moved to New Zealand with her mother, and...
Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

b. 1929 d. 2012

Adrienne Rich (1929 - 2012) was one of the USA's foremost poets, and her poetry's intelligent and outspoken political commitment makes her one of the most provocative. She was awarded, among others,...
Edgell Rickword

Edgell Rickword

b. 1898 d. 1982

Edgell Rickword (1898-1982) is best known as the influential editor of journals such as Calendar of Modern Letters and The Left Review and was a key figure in establishing radical criticism in the...
Anne Ridler

Anne Ridler

b. 1912 d. 2001

Anne Ridler (1912-2001) moved in literature throughout her life; she was the daughter of writers, with more in the extended family, and joined Faber and Faber's poetry department while in her early...
Theodore Roethke

Theodore Roethke

b. 1908 d. 1963

Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) was an innovator, both in subject matter and form, writing in the transcendental tradition of Emerson and Thoreau but making it his own. The key to his powerful...
Isaac Rosenberg

Isaac Rosenberg

b. 1890 d. 1918

Isaac Rosenburg was born in Bristol in 1890, the son of Russian immigrants; his father was a learned Jew who scraped a living as a pedlar and market trader. In 1897 the family moved to Whitechapel in...
Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon

b. 1886 d. 1967

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) was born into a wealthy Anglo-Jewish family and his early life was comfortable and leisured, dominated by sports and country pursuits. However, his poetic leanings were...
Vernon Scannell

Vernon Scannell

b. 1922 d. 2007

Vernon Scannell (1922 - 2007) published his poetry from the 1950s right up to the last year of his life, but seems to be less well-known than he deserves, despite being the recipient of the Heinemann...
Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton

b. 1928 d. 1974

Anne Sexton (1928-1974) is often grouped with such poets as Sylvia Plath, John Berryman and Robert Lowell as a leading figure in the so-called 'Confessional Movement'. Born Anne Gray Harvey in Newton...

C. H. Sisson

b. 1914 d. 2003

C. H. Sisson died in 2003 at the age of 89. He was known as a critic, political theorist, poet, novelist, and translator. He was a great friend of the critic and writer Donald Davie, with whom he...
Edith Sitwell

Edith Sitwell

b. 1887 d. 1964

Edith Sitwell (1887-1964) was born into an aristocratic family and, along with her brothers, Osbert and Sacheverell, had a significant impact on the artistic life of the 20s. She encountered the work...
Ken Smith

Ken Smith

b. 1938 d. 2003

Ken Smith (1938-2003) was born in Rudston, Yorkshire, the son of a farm labourer whose work meant Ken had an itinerant childhood. He attended Leeds University at a key time when Geoffrey Hill was...
Stephen Spender

Stephen Spender

b. 1909 d. 1995

Stephen Spender (1909-1995) is most closely associated with the 1930s: much of his best poetry was written during this decade and other important works such as his autobiography, World Within World (...
Pauline Stainer

Pauline Stainer

b. 1941

Pauline Stainer is an English poet, born in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. After attending St Anne's College, Oxford, she moved to Essex, where she raised four children. After several years on the Orkney...
Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith

b. 1902 d. 1971

Stevie Smith (1902-1971) led an outwardly uneventful life behind the respectable curtains of suburbia whilst nurturing a highly individual imagination. Born in Yorkshire, her father left the family...
Allen Tate

Allen Tate

b. 1899 d. 1979

Youngest of three sons, Allen Tate was born in Kentucky in 1899. His father was a businessman whose interests forced the family to move home up to three times a year, prompting Tate to later write: "...
R. S. Thomas

R. S. Thomas

b. 1913 d. 2000

R. S. Thomas (1913-2000) teemed with contradictions: a passionate advocate of Welsh nationalism he wrote in English and sent his son to boarding school in England; an undemonstrative man he composed...
Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas

b. 1878 d. 1917

Edward Thomas wrote all his poetry in less than three years, between 1914, when he wrote his first, and 1917, when he was killed in the Battle of Arras. Most of his poems were published posthumously...
Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

b. 1914 d. 1953

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) remains one of the legendary figures in 20th Century poetry, both for the impact of his visionary, musical verse, and for the notoriety of his private life. Born in Swansea,...
Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner

b. 1893 d. 1978

Sylvia Townsend Warner [1893-1978] is best known today as a groundbreaking feminist and lesbian writer who championed the cause of the outsider in novels such as Lolly Willowes. However, this is only...
Hone Tuwhare

Hone Tuwhare

b. 1922 d. 2008

Hone Tuwhare (1922 — 2008) is New Zealand’s pre-eminent Maori poet; his tribal affiliations are with Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Korokoro, Ngāti Tautahi, Te Popote and Uri-o-Hau. From a working class background...

David Wheatley

b. 1970

Flitting between book smarts and wry humour, lyric eloquence and occasionally acerbic bluntness, the poetry of David Wheatley shares much in common with the prose he writes as a respected critic, and...
William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams

b. 1883 d. 1963

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) famously combined the two careers of doctor and writer, along the way founding a specifically American version of Modernism. He was born in Rutherford, New Jersey...
Yvor Winters

Yvor Winters

b. 1900 d. 1968

Yvor Winters (b. 1900) was notorious in his lifetime for his recalcitrant literary criticism which rejected modernism in favour of reason in poetry. His own poetry, after a youthful dalliance with...
William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

b. 1865 d. 1939

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) stands at the turning point between the Victorian period and Modernism, the conflicting currents of which affected his poetry. Born in Dublin, Yeats' family moved to...

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A tour of the Archive with Frank Cottrell Boyce

I had the great joy of being part of the creative team for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics - a multi-media...

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Enjoy new recordings of classic poems from the past read by contemporary poets

Slavery, A Poem

Hannah More

read by Hannah More

If thou must love me (...

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

read by Elizabeth Barrett Browning