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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...

Pam Ayres

b. 1947

Pam Ayres is celebrated in the UK (and far beyond) as a favourite radio, TV and stage entertainer; it is impossible to read her comic poems without hearing her voice in your head. She says that she...

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...

Valerie Bloom

b. 1956

A Valerie Bloom reading is an uplifting experience, one that can coax even a shy British poetry audience into joyful participation, hands in the air to carry imaginary cake boxes, as they join in...

Billy Childish

b. 1959

Billy Childish (b. Steven John Hamper, 1959, Chatham, England) is a prolific poet, author, musician, and painter. A cult figure in Europe, America, and Japan, he has published over 40 collections of...

Wendy Cope

b. 1945

Wendy Cope (b. 1945) is a poet whose witty lyrics and pitch-perfect parodies have gained her a readership far beyond most of her peers. Born in Erith, Kent, she read History at St. Hilda's College,...

Peter Dale

b. 1938

Peter Dale (b. 1938) studied English at Oxford University where he became friends with the poets Ian Hamilton and Kevin Crossley-Holland, and William Cookson with whom Dale went on to edit the...

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...

Jane Draycott

b. 1954

Jane Draycott studied at King's College London and Bristol, where she took a postgraduate degree in Medieval English Literature. Her most recent poetry collection, Over, (Carcanet, 2009) was...

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....