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William Barnes

b. 1801 d. 1866

William Barnes was a Dorset‑dialect poet and artist. An extremely learned man with knowledge of many languages, he worked for some time as a schoolteacher, running his own schools with his wife,...

Aphra Behn

b. 1640 d. 1689

Aphra Behn was the first female writer to make her living through her art; she was a significant seventeenth‑century dramatist,The Rover being one of her best‑known plays. Little is known of her...

James Carter

b. 1959

An award-winning children’s poet, guitarist and writer-in-schools, James Carter lives with his family in Oxfordshire. He travels throughout the UK and abroad with his guitar (called Keith) to schools...

Paul Laurence Dunbar

b. 1872 d. 1906

Dunbar was one of the first African-American poets to be widely known and admired in America. His parents were freed slaves and Dunbar used some of their tales of plantation life in his work.
After a...

Adam Foulds

b. 1974

Adam Foulds (born 1974) is a poet and novelist who writes with striking range and ambition. His verse novella, The Broken Word won the Costa Poetry Prize in 2008. By then, Foulds had already won the...

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...

A. E. Housman

b. 1859 d. 1936

Alfred Edward Housman, the eldest son of a Bromsgrove solicitor, was born in 1859. He attended Bromsgrove School as a dayboy, but soon after he started there his mother fell ill and his father sank...

Richard Lovelace

b. 1618 d. 1657

Richard Lovelace was born in Woolwich in 1616. His father, Sir William Lovelace, fought in the Low Countries, was knighted by King James I, and  was killed at the Seige of Grolle in 1628. Richard was...

Alexander Pope

b. 1688 d. 1744

Pope was born into a Catholic family in 1688, the year of The Glorious Revolution, when Catholics could not live in London - the centre of literary life – or attend university. At the age of twelve...

Neil Rollinson

b. 1960

Neil Rollinson’s poetry has been noted for its eroticism, and certainly the earlier collections are dominated by sensual encounters of various kinds. His subject matter also takes in science and...