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Stephen Romer

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  • Stephen Romer was born in Hertfordshire in 1957 and read English at Cambridge. Since 1981 he has lived in France, where he is Maître de Conférences at Tours University. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Oxford and Cambridge and has taught in the US. He has published four full collections, including Yellow Studio (2008), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. He translates widely from the French, and has edited the Faber anthology Twentieth-Century French Poems. Recently he has published translations of Yves Bonnefoy’s The Arrière-pays (2012) and an anthology French Decadent Tales (2013). His poetry is described in the British Council Writers Directory and in Poetry International, and he has recorded a selection for the Poetry Archive. He was elected FRSL in 2011.


    Praise for Stephen Romer 'Stasis is the great enemy of a mind as active as Romer's and his poems are often a means of avoiding it, except when by some conjuring trick they attempt to arrest time... This is a book of elegant benedictions that allow for ecstasy and its opposite, and are fitting, memorable companions for either.'
    Declan Ryan, TLS
    'Reading Romer's poetry will leave you with a sense of calm and clarity because this long serving poet has developed a technical control that allows even for mysticism without rattling the bodily cage too much'
    Claire Crowther, Magma
       'A characteristic blend of self-examination and what feels like a classically trained sense of beauty, clarity and proportion. There is something Bergman-esque about Romer's work.'
    New Statesman
    'Notwithstanding his sophisticated Francophile masks and semi-detached Englishness - and his philosophical eye on the emotions - 'Stephen Romer may well be the finest love poet of his generation.'
    The British Council Writer's Directory
    'Here is a poet haunted by history, war, and the poignancy of love passing . . . He displays a seriousness which is seldom too weighty, and a compassion which never sinks into sentimentality.'
    Elizabeth Jennings, Sunday Telegraph
    'Stephen Romer is one of our finest poets of thwarted or impossible love . . . Emotional vulnerability is tempered by a wit and formal control that are never obtrusive.'
    Adam Thorpe, Guardian
     'Romer is one of our finest contemporary poets because he has made such a distinctive idiom out of such a complicated inheritance.' 
    Adam Phillips
    'Stephen Romer has achieved a breakthrough in these new poems. The death of his father has torn away a veil, releasing a fresh energy and vision.'
    Hugo Williams
    'If Tribute is haunted by aphasia, exile and the loss of continuity, those fears are shadows that give body to the essences more insistently dwelt upon, and these are apprehended with a depth of spiritual resource that is almost mystical.'
    Clive Wilmer on Tribute, in Times Literary Supplement
    'Austerely eloquent treatments of lost love and the complexities of family are juxtaposed with reflections on art and poetry - exactly the civilised range of interests that might strike fear into the incurious. Readers open to Romer's scrupulous, passionate music and the conversational intimacy of his address will gather rich rewards, however.'
    Sean O'Brien, Culture, 11 January 2009
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