101 - 114 of 114 results


A tour of the Archive

with Stephanie Anderson, writer and coach

On my first visit to the Poetry Archive I dipped in to see what was there, and discovered there was far more to hear than I had imagined. I returned for flying visits, listening to one poet after...

A tour of the Archive

with Catherine Olver, Foyle Young Poet finalist

I think it's defensible to say that there's something about any poem worth the title that asks to be read aloud. Perhaps it's to do with the origin of poetry, as part of oral traditions, or perhaps...

A tour of the Archive

with Connie Ruzich, Professor of English Studies

As a university teacher who lives in an inland city surrounded by mountains, streams, and rivers, I sometimes have a longing for the ocean, to see and smell and hear its rhythms. When I don't have...

A tour of the Archive

with David Almond, author

I love this archive. It's an important reminder that all literature has its roots in the human voice. Black print on white paper is not remote and abstract stuff but grows out from 'ordinary'...

A tour of the Archive

with Robert Cole, poet

Poetry springs to life in recordings such as those curated in the Archive. Poems have a perfectly respectable existence lying largely undisturbed between the pages of short-run volumes. But here,...

A tour of the Archive

with Sarah Tremlett, artist and writer

I may be a closet listophile. Just as I have always been fascinated by the way that unlikely groupings of authors often rub shoulders amongst the nicknacks and flotsam of domestic bookshelves, so I...

A tour of the Archive

with Roger Stevens, author and poet

I really enjoyed listening to all the poems in the Archive. It's fantastic to hear poets reading their own work. It took me a long time to choose my favourites - I think it would be much easier to...

A tour of the Archive

with Jean Sprackland

There are so many good poems in the Children's Poetry Archive, it's hard to know where to start! I'd like to share with you just a few of my favourites. I've chosen six very different poems: some are...

A tour of the Archive

with Stephen Fry, actor and writer

Stephen Fry is a man of many talents: actor, novelist, comedian, librettist, thinker and wit. In an interview with Michael Parkinson, he was described as being "a man with a brain the size of Kent"....

A tour of the Archive

with Monica Ali, novelist

On my initial visit to the Poetry Archive, the historical recordings caught my attention first. I did not know that recordings of Tennyson, for instance, existed. Although some of the following lines...

A tour of the Archive

with Sherrie Talgeri, Foyle Young Poet finalist

Poetry is life with line-breaks – a personal matter – and I hope that this six poem mixtape I’ve chosen will resonate with you. This guided tour shall be filled to the brim with hapless word-beauty...

A tour of the Archive

with Clive James

The writer and broadcaster Clive James introduces a few of his favourite poems in the Poetry Archive.

A tour of the Archive

with Julia Copus

I've avoided poems that other writers here have recommended, but which otherwise would certainly have been on my list (such as Richard Wilbur's superb 'A Barred Owl', chosen by Andrew Motion). There...

A tour of the Archive

with Andrew Motion

My short tour of the Poetry Archive is designed to show its range, as well as the strength-in-depth of its holdings. And also to demonstrate how the pleasures and meanings of poetry depend as much on...

A tour of the Archive

with Frank Cottrell Boyce, children's author and film-maker

I had the great joy of being part of the creative team for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics - a multi-media extravaganza that was streamed, tweeted, favourited and blogged about across the...

A tour of the Archive

with Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Poetry happens at a sort of junction in the mind when new combinations start up, words and pictures start connecting in unexpected ways. It takes you into what can feel like anarchic territory, and...

A tour of the Archive

with Danielle McShine, poet

The Poetry Archive is an invaluable resource for hearing some of my favourite poems, read by their authors, and for discovering new voices. I often wander through the Archive, stopping at a poem or...

A tour of the Archive

with Chris Pearson, teacher

When choosing poems for my tour, I had just one criterion in mind: that each poem must allow me to comment on the quality of the spoken word (after all, that is what makes the Archive such a...

A tour of the Archive

with Helen Gray, teacher

As a secondary schoolteacher in London for the past thirty years, it has been my privilege to have had a job which at its core, involves getting teenagers to fall in love with poetry. I have made my...

John Glenday

b. 1952

John Glenday has published four collections of poetry: The Apple Ghost (Peterloo Poets, 1989), which received a Scottish Arts Council Book Prize; Undark (Peterloo Poets, 1995), which was a Poetry...

A tour of the Archive

with Louise Joy, Lecturer in English

Since I spend much of my time rooting around in the eighteenth century, this is where I headed first. Hearing poems from long ago brought to life by poets from our own age is peculiarly fascinating....

A tour of the Archive

with Mark Grist, poet

Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in, the more I’ve developed a palette for playful use of language; particularly...

A tour of the Archive

with Rachel Smith, chef and poet

Visiting the Poetry Archive feels like browsing through your favourite bookshop and finding that all the books are now talking to you! 

A tour of the Archive

with Rachel Redford, writer

Over the last few years I have listened to many of the Poetry Archive recordings and my six poems are taken from those voices, literal and poetic, which stood out and have remained with me. I wanted...
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...
Fergus Allen

Fergus Allen

b. 1921

Fergus Allen was born in London in 1921, of an Anglo-Irish father and an English mother. After childhood and Quaker schools in Ireland, he read engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, where he wrote...
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...
James Berry

James Berry

b. 1924 d. 2017

James Berry (1924 - 2017) spent his childhood in a village in Jamaica, before working in the United States, finally settling in Britain in 1948 where he remained for the rest of his life. One of the...
James Berry - Children's Poems

James Berry Children's Poems

b. 1924 d. 2017

James Berry's poems take you back to the noises, sights and smells of his Jamaican childhood. James was born in 1924 in a small village surrounded by fields and fruit trees. Through his writing James...

John Berryman

b. 1914 d. 1972

John Berryman (1914-1972) was born John Smith Jnr. in rural Oklahoma, the product of an unhappy marriage between a small-town banker and schoolteacher. When he was eight, Berryman suffered the...
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....
Alison Brackenbury

Alison Brackenbury

b. 1953

Alison Brackenbury was born in 1953 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. She read English at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and has worked as a librarian in a technical college (1976-83), then as a part-time...
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...
Robert Browning

Robert Browning

b. 1812 d. 1889

Robert Browning was born in South London in 1812. He was largely self-educated, utilising his father's extensive library of over six thousand volumes. A voracious reader, Browning would later draw on...
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....

Ron Butlin

b. 1949

RON BUTLIN is a former Edinburgh Makar / Poet Laureate (2008-14). He has published ten volumes of poetry, including verse for children. His work has won many prizes and been translated into over a...
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,...
Julia Copus

Julia Copus

b. 1969

Julia Copus was born in London in 1969 and grew up in a house with three brothers who were learning to play musical instruments. Two of them later went on to be professional musicians, and Copus has...
Anna Crowe portrait by Swithun Crowe

Anna Crowe

b. 1945

Anna Crowe is a poet and translator based in St Andrews, Fife. Born in Plymouth, which in interview she says is “as far from Scotland as one can get in the UK,” Crowe moved to St Andrews to study and...
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...
Luke Davies

Luke Davies

b. 1962

Luke Davies (b.1962) is a critically acclaimed poet, novelist, and screenplay writer. Davies was raised in the Sydney suburb of West Pymble, and studied Arts at the University of Sydney. His third...

Christine De Luca

b. 1946

Scottish poet and novelist Christine De Luca was born and raised in Shetland. She writes in both English and Shetland Dialect, the latter a form of Old Scots with much Norse influence. For the past...
Rita Dove

Rita Dove

b. 1952

Rita Dove (b. 1952) was encouraged by her parents to read widely from a young age and she explored all that the local library in Akron, Ohio, had to offer. Dove went on to study English at Miami...
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...
Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore

b. 1952 d. 2017

Helen Dunmore (1952-2017) was the second of four children, her father the eldest of twelve. As she said herself "In a large family you hear a great many stories," a grounding which influenced her...

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...
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...
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...
Roy Fisher

Roy Fisher

b. 1930 d. 2017

Roy Fisher (b. 1930) grew up in Birmingham and was educated at the local grammar school and Birmingham University. He worked as a teacher of English in schools and colleges, including latterly the...
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)...
Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie Gittins' poetry for children is rich and varied in both form and subject; her three collections are bursting with everything from limericks to list poems, shape-poems to songs, and manage to...
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...
Andrew Greig

Andrew Greig

b. 1951

Andrew Greig's second collection Men on Ice in 1977 changed his life. He had been what he calls an "armchair climber", attracted by "the imagery and intensities" of climbing - however, mountaineer...
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...

Sophie Hannah

b. 1971

Sophie Hannah is a poet and crime fiction writer. Her crime fiction frequently appears on bestseller lists and her poetry is praised by her contemporaries, readers and critics for its comic and off-...
Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison

b. 1937

Tony Harrison is Britain's principal film and theatre poet and has famously said "Poetry is all I write, whether for books, or readings, or for the National Theatre, or for the opera house and...
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...
Selima Hill

Selima Hill

b. 1945

Selima Hill is perhaps best known for her surrealism. Pierre Reverdy has said of surrealism that ‘the more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true [...] the greater...
Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield

b. 1953

Jane Hirshfield (b. 1953, USA) is the author of six books of poetry, several translations and two collections of essays. Her most recent volume After, on being published in both the US and UK, was...
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...
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...
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...

David Kinloch

b. 1959


From Scots dialect to Frank O’Hara and the New York School, from the candidly personal to unusual dramatic monologues, David Kinloch’s poetry is stylistically, thematically and emotionally wide-...
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...
Robert Lowell

Robert Lowell

b. 1917 d. 1977

Robert Lowell (1917-1977) packed a huge amount into his sixty years: a rollercoaster of triumphs and disasters that informed his writing and pushed back the boundaries of what was deemed suitable...
Sarah Maguire

Sarah Maguire

b. 1957

Few other contemporary British poets combine the intensity of Sarah Maguire's lyrical imagination with the breadth of her geopolitical reach. From the first poem ('May Day, 1986') of her first...
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...
Cilla McQueen

Cilla McQueen

b. 1949

Born in Birmingham, England, Cilla McQueen moved to New Zealand when she was four years old. She ranks amongst the finest poets of her generation, with honours which include three New Zealand Book...
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...
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...

Tom Pow

b. 1950

Born in 1950 in Edinburgh, Tom Pow is the author of twelve collections, including, most recently, At the Well of Love (2016) and A Wild Adventure (2014), the latter a biography, rendered in poetry,...

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...
Walter Ralegh

Walter Raleigh

b. 1552 d. 1618

As a successful military adventurer and explorer, author and poet, Ralegh was a significant figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. He took expeditions to the New World, searching for El Dorado,...
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...
Alastair Reid

Alastair Reid

b. 1926 d. 2014

Alastair Reid (1926-2014) was one of Scotland's foremost literary figures, admired as a craftsman in poetry, prose and translation. Since he left Scotland during World War II, he lived variously in...
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,...
Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson

b. 1955

Robin Robertson (b. 1955) is a poet of austere and meticulous diction, tempered by a sensuous music. He was born in Scone, Perthshire, and brought up on the north-east coast of Scotland but has spent...
Rachel Rooney

Rachel Rooney

b. 1962

Rachel Rooney was born in London, the fifth of six children, and now lives in Brighton, Sussex. She trained and works as a special needs teacher, along with visiting schools for poetry readings and...
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...

Anne Stevenson

b. 1933

Anne Stevenson, inaugural winner of the Northern Rock Writers Award in 2002, was born in England of American parents in 1933 and educated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where her father was professor of...
Greta Stoddart

Greta Stoddart

b. 1966

Greta Stoddart was born in Henley-on-Thames, and grew up in Oxford and Belgium. She studied drama at Manchester University then trained as an actor in Paris, touring for five years with the theatre...
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...
Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott

b. 1930 d. 2017

Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1992, two years after the publication of his most ambitious and celebrated work, 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...
Kit Wright

Kit Wright

b. 1944

Kit Wright (b. 1944) is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children, and the winner of awards including an Arts Council Writers' Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize,...

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...

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
POET IN RESIDENCE
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GLOSSARY


A tour of the Archive with Chris Pearson

When choosing poems for my tour, I had just one criterion in mind: that each poem must allow me to comment on the...

Featured Guided Tours

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

The Flea

John Donne

read by Adam Foulds

The Chimney Sweeper:...

William Blake

read by Mimi Khalvati