41 - 55 of 55 results


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 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 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 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 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...

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 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 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 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 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 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 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...

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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...
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...
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...
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...

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...
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...
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...

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...
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...

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...

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
FIND POETS
FIND POEMS
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
GLOSSARY


A tour of the Archive with Mark Grist

Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken...

Featured Guided Tours

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

How do I love thee?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

read by Lavinia Greenlaw

My Last Duchess

Robert Browning

read by Anthony Thwaite