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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.

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 Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literatu

Valerie Bloom

b. 1956

A Valerie Bloom reading is an uplifting experience, one that can coax even a shy British poetry audience into joyful participation, hands in the air to carry imaginary cake boxes, as they join in with the chorus to 'Pinda Cake'.

Valerie Gillies

b. 1948

Valerie Gillies’ poems are of a startling clarity.

Velma Pollard

b. 1937

Velma Pollard was born in 1937.

Vernon Scannell

b. 1922 d. 2007

Vernon Scannell (1922 - 2007) published his poetry from the 1950s right up to the last year of his life, but seems to be less well-known than he deserves, despite being the recipient of the Heinemann Award for Literature and the Cholmondely Award.

Vicki Feaver

b. 1943

Vicki Feaver (b. 1943) grew up in Nottingham "in a house of quarrelling women", an emotional inheritance which finds later expression in her poetry.

Vincent O'Sullivan

b. 1937

Vincent O'Sullivan (b.1937, Auckland, New Zealand) lectured at Victoria University, Wellington (1963-1966) and Waikato University, Hamilton (1968-1978).

Vivian Smith

b. 1933

Vivian Smith (b. 1933) was born and grew up in Hobart, Tasmania. He lectured in French at the University of Tasmania for ten years before moving to the University of Sydney where he was Reader in English until he retired in 1996.

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.

W N Herbert

b. 1961

W. N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961 and educated at Brasenose, Oxford, where he published his thesis on Hugh MacDiarmid (To Circumjack MacDiarmid, OUP, 1992).

W. E. B. DuBois

b. 1868 d. 1963

Sociologist, civil rights campaigner, historian, Harvard graduate, anti-war activist, academic, essayist, novelist, communist and, of course, poet, W.E.B.

W. E. Henley

b. 1849 d. 1903

‘Invictus’ has ensured that Henley is a significant Victorian literary figure, but the phenomenal popularity of this one poem has perhaps led to the neglect of his other work.

W. H. Auden

b. 1907 d. 1973

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) is one of the most influential voices in 20th Century poetry.

W. H. Davies

b. 1871 d. 1940

The Welsh poet William Henry Davies wrote the poem ‘Leisure’, which famously begins:‘What is this life if, full of care,/We have no time to stand and stare.’

W. S. Graham

b. 1918 d. 1986

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.

Walt Whitman

b. 1819 d. 1892

At various times, Walt Whitman was a teacher, a journalist, a government official and a clerk. He also spent a significant period in his life working in the hospitals of the American Civil War, and witnessed the acute suffering of casualties.

Walter de la Mare

b. 1873 d. 1956

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.

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.

Walter Scott

b. 1771 d. 1832

Born in Edinburgh, and trained as a lawyer, Walter Scott became an internationally popular poet, playwright and novelist.

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, Oxford.

Wes Magee

b. 1939

Wes Magee (b. 1939) was a teacher when he began writing his first poems.

Wilfred Owen

b. 1893 d. 1918

The poems that made Wilfred Owen famous were mostly published after his death in action a week before the end of the First World War.

William Barnes

b. 1801 d. 1866

William Barnes was a Dorset‑dialect poet and artist.

William Blake

b. 1757 d. 1827

William Blake was born in London in 1757 and spent most of his long life there.