41 - 55 of 55 results


Dannie Abse

Dannie Abse

b. 1923 d. 2014

Dannie Abse (1923-2014) was a poet, playwright and novelist whose literary career spanned half a century, the first of his fourteen collections of poetry, After Every Green Thing, being published in...
Fleur Adcock

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...
Simon Armitage

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...
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...
Edward Baugh

Edward Baugh

b. 1936

Edward Baugh is probably best known as a literary critic whose distinguished academic career has been devoted to West Indian literature, especially the study of Anglophone Caribbean poetry, and in...
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...
Rachael Boast

Rachael Boast

b. 1975

Born in Suffolk, Rachael Boast studied English and Philosophy at Wolverhampton University, after which she relocated to Bristol. In 2005 she moved to St Andrews to begin an MLit in Creative Writing....
Alan Brownjohn

Alan Brownjohn

b. 1931

Alan Brownjohn (b. 1931) grew up in London and was educated at Merton College, Oxford. He worked first as a schoolteacher and then a lecturer before becoming a full-time freelance writer in 1979. His...
Robert Burns

Robert Burns

b. 1759 d. 1796

Burns started life as a ploughman in Scotland but is now one of the world’s most celebrated poets. Every January, his life is remembered with whisky, haggis, singing and dancing on Burns Night....
Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo

b. 1973

Vahni Capildeo has lived in the UK since 1991, where she has published four poetry collections including Undraining Sea (2009), Dark & Unaccustomed Words (2012) – longlisted for the 2013 OCM...
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...
Mandy Coe

Mandy Coe

Based in the north-west of England, Mandy Coe writes poetry for adults and children. A Hawthornden Fellow, she is winner of several prizes, including the Ilkley and Ted Waters Memorial Prize. She was...
Billy Collins

Billy Collins

b. 1941

Billy Collins (b. 1941) is a genuinely popular poet whose books have sold over 200,000 copies since the appearance of his first collection, Pokerface, in 1977. Born in New York City he attended the...
Wendy Cope

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,...
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...
Ian Duhig

Ian Duhig

b. 1954

Ian Duhig (b. 1954) was the eighth of eleven children born to Irish parents with a liking for poetry. He has won the National Poetry Competition twice, and also the Forward Prize for Best Poem; his...

Steve Ellis

b. 1952

Born in York in 1952, Steve Ellis has published three collections of poetry, including West Pathway (1993) and Home and Away, as well as a verse translation of Dante’s Inferno and a number of...
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...
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....
Helen Farish

Helen Farish

b. 1962

Helen Farish was born in 1962 in Cumbria, where she now lives. She has been a Fellow at Hawthornden International Centre for Writers and was the first female Poet in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust...
John Fuller

John Fuller

b. 1937

As a tutor and now Emeritus Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, and winner of accolades including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, a Cholmondeley Award and a Forward Prize, John Fuller (b. 1937)...
Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw

b. 1962

Lavinia Greenlaw was born in London, where she has lived for most of her life. Her teenage years were spent in a village in Essex. She has published five collections of poetry with Faber & Faber...
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...
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...
Mick Imlah

Mick Imlah

b. 1956 d. 2009

Mick Imlah (1956 - 2009) was one of the most brilliant poets of his generation. He published just two collections, Birthmarks in 1988, and twenty years on, the long-awaited The Lost Leader, which won...

Kathleen Jamie

b. 1962

Kathleen Jamie spent much of her early poetic career answering the question posed by the disapproving elders in her famous poem 'The Queen of Sheba': "whae do you think y'ur?" Across a rich and...
John Keats

John Keats

b. 1795 d. 1821

Keats was born in London in 1795. His father was killed in a riding accident when Keats was eight; his mother died six years later, probably from tuberculosis. The loss of his parents, especially of...
Luke Kennard

Luke Kennard

b. 1981

Luke Kennard is the author of numerous works of poetry and short fiction. His first collection of poems, The Solex Brothers, was published in 2005, and won him one of that year's Eric Gregory Awards...
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...

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...

Michael Longley

b. 1939

Michael Longley (b.1939, Belfast) is a central figure in contemporary Irish poetry. A forceful figure within the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, where he founded the literary programme, he is one...
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,...
Glyn Maxwell

Glyn Maxwell

b. 1962

Born in Welwyn Garden City, England, to Welsh parents in 1962, Glyn Maxwell was educated at Oxford University and Boston University, where he studied poetry and theatre with Derek Walcott. He moved...

John McAuliffe

b. 1973

John McAuliffe was born in 1973, and grew up in Listowel, County Kerry. He studied at NUI Galway, and has since 2002 lived in the UK, where he co-directs the Centre for New Writing at the University...
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...
Marianne Moore

Marianne Moore

b. 1887 d. 1972

Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was a major Modernist innovator whose idiosyncratic, agile poems have proved as durable as they are delicate. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in the house...
J.O. Morgan

J.O. Morgan

b. 1978

J.O. Morgan lives on a small farm in the Scottish Borders, having lived and worked on numerous farms in the past, both in the British Isles and abroad. He is the author of three collections of poetry...
Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion

b. 1952

Andrew Motion (b.1952) read English at Oxford University where he won the Newdigate Prize and studied the work of Edward Thomas, an abiding influence. At Hull University he taught English and worked...
Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon

b. 1951

Paul Muldoon is one of Ireland's most outstanding contemporary poets, and one of the most admired English-language poets anywhere in the world. He was born into a Catholic family in 1951 in a...

Richard Murphy

b. 1927

Richard Murphy has been called a poet of two traditions, British and Irish. Born in 1927 at Milford, a small “Big House” of his mother’s Anglo-Irish family near Kilmaine, County Mayo, Richard spent...
Les Murray

Les Murray

b. 1938

Les Murray (b. 1938) grew up the only son of poor farmers in a remote valley in New South Wales. It was a hard background but one that instilled in him a love of the landscape and people of rural...
Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash

b. 1902 d. 1971

Ogden Nash ( 1902-1971) was a master, perhaps the 20th Century master, of light verse whose continuing popularity shows that the term 'light' is not incompatible with long-lasting. He was born in Rye...
Lorine Niedecker

Lorine Niedecker

b. 1903 d. 1970

When Lorine Niedecker died of a brain haemorrhage in 1970 at the age of 67, her work was virtually unknown outside contemporary circles.  Indeed, some of the closest members of her family didn’t even...

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...
Jacob Polley

Jacob Polley

b. 1975

Measured, musical and understated, Jacob Polley's poems delve deep into the elemental, the eerie and the unstable. Whether conjuring a crow from the Biblical tale of Cain's murder of Abel, his gloves...

F T Prince

b. 1912 d. 2003

F.T. Prince was one of the most influential and critically-neglected Anglophone poets of the twentieth century. Born in South Africa in 1912, he became deeply engaged as a teenager with French...

Justin Quinn

b. 1968

Justin Quinn’s poems are formal in the very best sense, finding rhythms and rhymes to match the complexities and intimacies of our lives and the world in which we live them. Lyrically exact and...
Tom Raworth

Tom Raworth

b. 1938 d. 2017

Tom Raworth (1938 - 2017), in addition to a career that included being the editor of Outburst magazine, founder of the Goliard Press, and an artist whose shows were seen in galleries in Europe 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,...
Denise Riley

Denise Riley

b. 1948

Denise Riley (b. 1948) is active across the full range of poetic life - poet, essayist, teacher, editor, researcher - and beyond, with her interests extending to politics, history, philosophy,...
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...
Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott

b. 1930

Derek Walcott (b. 1930) was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1992, two years after the publication of his most ambitious and celebrated work to date, Omeros, an epic poem which draws on the...

Clive Wilmer

b. 1945

Clive Wilmer's first collection of poems, The Dwelling-Place (Carcanet, 1977), opens with an epigraph from John Ruskin's Val d'Arno, which begins: “A man's religion is the form of mental rest, or...

Makhosazana Xaba

b. 1957

Makhosazana (Khosi) Xaba’s poetry, fiction and academic work reflects a lifetime actively involved with politics. Born in Greytown, Kwazulu-Natal, Xaba is trained as both a midwife and a psychiatric...

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A tour of the Archive with Monica Ali

On my initial visit to the Poetry Archive, the historical recordings caught my attention first. I did not know that...

Featured Guided Tours

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

No Coward Soul Is Mine

Emily Bronte

read by Fleur Adcock

Sing Me A Song of A Lad...

Robert Louis Stevenson

read by Andrew Motion