21 - 33 of 33 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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-...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 (...
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...
Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson

b. 1809 d. 1892

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, the third surviving son of a rector whose violent alcoholism blighted the family home. Tennyson went to Cambridge where he met Arthur...
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...
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...

Starting points

Not sure where to start? Who to listen to? What to read? The links below will help to get you on your way.

TAKE A TOUR
ASK A POET
FIND POETS
FIND POEMS


A tour of the Archive with Rachel Redford

Over the last few years I have listened to many of the Poetry Archive recordings and my six poems are taken from...

Featured Guided Tours


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

There Is No God

Arthur Hugh Clough

read by Jacob Sam-La Rose

The Chimney Sweeper:...

William Blake

read by Mimi Khalvati