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.
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 (1951), his novel The Temple (1988)
Stevie Smith (1902-1971) led an outwardly uneventful life behind the respectable curtains of suburbia whilst nurturing a highly individual imagination.
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 age of eight.
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.
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 local family.
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.
Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) is one of the most influential voices in 20th Century poetry.
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 Harold Pinter and Michael Schmidt.
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'. Born in Charlton, Kent, he was educated at St.
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) famously combined the two careers of doctor and writer, along the way founding a specifically American version of Modernism.
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 held in high esteem by such figures as W. H.
Yvor Winters (b. 1900) was notorious in his lifetime for his recalcitrant literary criticism which rejected modernism in favour of reason in poetry.