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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.

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 accounts and clerical assistant (1985-1989).

Anna Laetitia Barbauld

b. 1743 d. 1825

Anna Barbauld (nee Aikin) was born in 1743, daughter of a nonconformist minister and schoolmaster, who taught her to read English before she was three and to master French, Italian, Latin and Greek while still a child.

Anne Bradstreet

b. 1612 d. 1672

Anne Bradstreet was born in 1612 in England. In 1630 she emigrated to Massachusetts, with her father Thomas Dudley and her husband Simon Bradstreet.

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.

Basil Bunting

b. 1900 d. 1985

Basil Bunting (1900-1985) is best known for his long poem 'Briggflatts' which has come to be recognised as one of the key texts of British modernism.

Catherine Byron

b. 1947

Catherine Byron is an Irish poet who often collaborates with visual and sound artists.

Charles Boyle

b. 1951

Charles Boyle was born in Leeds, and worked in for a long time in publishing, including fourteen years at Faber and Faber.

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 and the century.

Colette Bryce

b. 1970

Colette Bryce was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and lived in London for many years before moving to Scotland in 2002, where she held a fellowship in Creative Writing at the University of Dundee.

Connie Bensley

b. 1929

Knowing, precise and often cheerfully acerbic, Connie Bensley’s poems revel in poking gentle fun at the self-deceptions and delusions of middle-class suburban life.

Dan Burt

b. 1942

Dan Burt's poems offer the reader a dual perspective on American culture, drawing on the poet's personal experience of being both an insider and an outsider.

Diana Bridge

b. 1942

Diana Bridge introduces her second collection of poems, The Girls on the Wall (1999), with a quote from M.M. Bakhtin who remarked that "outsidedness is a most powerful factor in understanding [...

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 for his deep love of the English countryside.

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 particular the work of the towering Nobel Laureate

Edwin Brock

b. 1927 d. 1997

Edwin Brock (1927-1997) wrote two of the best-known poems of the last century, 'Five Ways to Kill a Man' and 'Song of the Battery Hen', but his work deserves wider recognition beyond these anthology favourites.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

b. 1806 d. 1861

Elizabeth Barrett was born in 1806, the eldest of twelve children of Edward Barrett, whose fortune was derived from Jamaican plantations.

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 and had one son.

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.

Emily Berry

b. 1981

Emily Berry is one of an increasingly distinct generation of poets to emerge in the UK since the early 2000’s, including Luke Kennard (whom Berry cites as an influence), Heather Phillipson, Oli Hazzard, Mark Waldron and Kate Kilalea.

Emily Bronte

b. 1818 d. 1848

Emily Bronte was born in 1818, the daughter of Irishman Patrick Bronte, perpetual curate of Haworth, Yorkshire. Emily's mother died in 1821, leaving five daughters and a son to the care of their aunt.

George Mackay Brown

b. 1921 d. 1996

George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) was born in the remote Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland and apart from two periods of education at Newbattle Abbey College and the University of Edinburgh, he lived there all his life.

Gerard Benson

b. 1931 d. 2014

How delightful to know Mr Benson
Everyone wants to know him
So witty and charming and handsome
(Though some think he’s ugly and dim).

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.

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.