Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Charles Tomlinson

Charles Tomlinson

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Charles Tomlinson'
Start a new discussion about 'Charles Tomlinson'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Alfred Charles Tomlinson, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born 8 January 1927) is a British poet and translator, and also an academic and artist. He was born and raised in Penkhull
Penkhull
Penkhull is a township within Stoke-upon-Trent in the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the English county of Staffordshire. The Domesday Book records it as two hides of land in the Hundred of Pirehill and that it was held by Earl Algar....

 in the city of Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent , also called The Potteries is a city in Staffordshire, England, which forms a linear conurbation almost 12 miles long, with an area of . Together with the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme Stoke forms The Potteries Urban Area...

, Staffordshire
Staffordshire
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. Part of the National Forest lies within its borders...

.

Life


After attending Longton High School
Longton High School
-History:Before the school moved to a new site in Sandon Road, it was situated in Trentham Road and also used part of the Sutherland Institute.-Grammar school:...

, he read English at Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou , and refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville...

, where he studied with Donald Davie
Donald Davie
Donald Alfred Davie was an English Movement poet, and literary critic. His poems in general are philosophical and abstract, but often evoke various landscapes.-Biography:...

. After leaving university he spent a year in Liguria
Liguria
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

 in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and then taught in a primary school. He later became Emeritus Professor of English Poetry at the University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He and his wife Brenda now live in a Cotswold
Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are a range of hills in west-central England, sometimes called the Heart of England, an area across and long. The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...

 cottage at Ozleworth
Ozleworth
Ozleworth is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England, approximately south of Gloucester. It lies in the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History:...

, near Wotton-under-Edge
Wotton-under-Edge
Wotton-under-Edge is a market town within the Stroud district of Gloucestershire, England. Located near the southern end of the Cotswolds, the Cotswold Way long-distance footpath passes through the town. Standing on the B4058 Wotton is about from the M5 motorway. The nearest railway station is...

. They met as teenagers, and have two daughters and a granddaughter. He is also an artist, and In Black and White: The Graphics of Charles Tomlinson, with an introduction by Nobel prize-winner Octavio Paz
Octavio Paz
Octavio Paz Lozano was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature.-Early life and writings:...

, was published in 1976.

Poetry


His first book of poetry was published in 1951, and his Collected Poems was published by the Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

 in 1985, followed by the Selected Poems: 1955-1997 in 1997. His poetry has won international recognition and has received many prizes in Europe and the United States, including the 1993 Bennett Award from Hudson Review; the New Criterion Poetry Prize, 2002; the Premio Internazionale di Poesie Ennio Flaiano, 2001; and the Premio Internazionale di Poesia Attilio Bertolucci, 2004. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and of the Modern Language Association. Charles Tomlinson was made a CBE in 2001 for his contribution to literature. Charles Tomlinson was made a CBE in 2001 for his lifetime contribution to literature. Charles Tomlinson's Selected Poems, his collections Skywriting, Metamorphoses and The Vineyard Above the Sea, amongst others, are all published by Carcanet Press
Carcanet Press
Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

. His latest collection Cracks in the Universe was published in May 2006 in Carcanet Press
Carcanet Press
Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

's Oxford Poets series.

In his book Some Americans Tomlinson acknowledges his poetic debts to modern American poetry, in particular William Carlos Williams, Oppen, Moore, Zukofsky. In his critical study Lives of Poets, Michael Schmidt observes that 'Wallace Stevens was the guiding star [Tomlinson] initially steered by'. Schmidt goes on to define the two characteristic voices of Tomlinson: 'one is intellectual, meditative, feeling its way through ideas' whilst the other voice engages with 'landscapes and images from the natural world'. Tomlinson's poetry often circles around these themes of place and return, exploring his native landscape of Stoke and the shifting cityscape of modern Bristol. In Against Extremity Tomlinson expresses a distrust of confessional verse and rejects the 'willed extremism of poets like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton'.

In 1991 he recorded all of his published poetry for Keele University
Keele University
Keele University is a campus university near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, England. Founded in 1949 as an experimental college dedicated to a broad curriculum and interdisciplinary study, Keele is most notable for pioneering the dual honours degree in Britain...

. These include his Stoke-on-Trent poems, which are: At Stoke; The Slag Heap; Steel; Canal; Poem for My Father; John Maydew; The Hand at Callow Hill Farm; The Farmer's Wife; Black Brook; The Question; The Shaft; After a Death; Night Ride; Gladstone Street; Etruria Vale; Penkhull New Road; The Way In; The Tree; Midlands; Portrait of the Artist I; Portrait of the Artist II; The Hoard; Consolations for Double Bass; The Rich; Class; The Hawthorn in Trent Vale; Written on Water; The Marl Pits.

Translations


Charles Tomlinson has excelled as an authoritative translator of poetry from the Russian, Spanish and Italian, including the work of Antonio Machado
Antonio Machado
Antonio Cipriano José María y Francisco de Santa Ana Machado y Ruiz, known as Antonio Machado was a Spanish poet and one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98....

, Fyodor Tyutchev
Fyodor Tyutchev
Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev is generally considered the last of three great Romantic poets of Russia, following Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov.- Life :...

, César Vallejo
César Vallejo
César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza was a Peruvian poet. Although he published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is considered one of the great poetic innovators of the 20th century in any language. Thomas Merton called him "the greatest universal poet since Dante"...

 and Attilio Bertolucci
Attilio Bertolucci
Attilio Bertolucci was an Italian poet and writer. He is father to film directors Bernardo and Giuseppe Bertolucci.-Biography:...

. He has collaborated with the Mexican writer Octavio Paz
Octavio Paz
Octavio Paz Lozano was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature.-Early life and writings:...

. He edited the seminal Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 Book of Verse in English Translation
and the Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams was an American poet closely associated with modernism and Imagism. He was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine, having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania...

.

Works

  • Door in the Wall (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 1999)
  • Selected Poems (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 1999)
  • Annunciation (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 1999)
  • The Vineyard Above the Sea (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 1999)
  • American Essays (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 2001)
  • Metamorphoses: Poetry and Translation (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 2003)
  • Skywriting (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 2003)
  • Cracks in the Universe (Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press
    Carcanet Press is a publisher, primarily of poetry, based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt.Carcanet Press is now in its fourth decade. In 2000 it was named the Sunday Times millennium Small Publisher of the Year...

    , 2006)

Further reading

  • O'Gorman, Kathleen. Charles Tomlinson: Man and Artist. University of Missouri Press, 1988.
  • Saunders, Judith P. The Poetry of Charles Tomlinson: Border Lines. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003.

External links

  • Charles Tomlinson Reads His Stoke Poems, Keele University
    Keele University
    Keele University is a campus university near Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, England. Founded in 1949 as an experimental college dedicated to a broad curriculum and interdisciplinary study, Keele is most notable for pioneering the dual honours degree in Britain...

    1994. (Audio recordings of his poetry about Stoke-on-Trent).
  • The Charles Tomlinson Resource Centre
  • Carcanet Press page for Charles Tomlinson