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Charles Tomlinson (1927 - 2015)

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  • Charles Tomlinson, born in 1927, studied at Queens’ College, Cambridge. He has published many books of poetry, and has translated selections from Russian, Spanish and Italian. He is also an artist. He taught at Bristol University, where he was appointed Emeritus Professor of English Poetry. He edited The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation (1980).

     'It is entirely appropriate that David Morley should have chosen the title Swimming Chenango Lake for this book and the poem of that name, written in September 1967, stands as 'Prologue' to a volume which will at last place Charles Tomlinson's name at the forefront of the poetry of the twentieth century.'
    Ian Brinton, The London Magazine

    '€˜His poetry stuns us by its formal rigour, its punctiliousness, its syntactical mastery, its long, building effects. Unmissable.'€™
    Michael Glover, The Tablet
    'Tomlinson is one of the most astute, disciplined, and lucent poets of his generation. His quiet, meditative voice will reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic for a long time to come.'
    Edward Hirsch
    'Tomlinson's work and his new volume achieve balance, synthesis and wonderful expression. Add to this that he is also very funny, and I trust you have abandoned any reason not to buy the book. Let's be proud of him.'
    David Morley, the Guardian
    'Tomlinson has an international reputation as a poet and translator. He is also a painter and brings his artist's eye to his poetry, drawing out exact lines, creating luminous imagery that is still touched by a sense of mystery. Please read him...his collection Seeing is Believing is one of my all-time favourites.'
    Sion Hamilton, The Bookseller pick of 2006.
    'He has divided his line according to a new measure learned, perhaps, for a new world. It gives a refreshing rustle or seething to the words which bespeak the entrance of a new life'.
    William Carlos Williams
    'Against the word as spectacle, Tomlinson opposes the concept -- a very English one -- of the world as event...He is fascinated -- with his eyes open: a lucid fascination -- by the universal busyness, the continuous generation and degeneration of things'.
    Octavio Paz
    'Tomlinson insists, and he has a right to insist, that he is as authentic a voice of modern Britain as Larkin is. Only in the great poets is content so intimately married to form'.
    Donald Davie
    'Charles Tomlinson's poems...are crystalline, and ring when you touch them.'
    Times Literary Supplement 
    'Tomlinson's distinctive poetry springs from a patience in looking, and a precision in feeling. Along with Hill, Larkin and Hughes, he has produced one of the four most commanding bodies of work since 1945.'
    The Tablet
    'Tomlinson is a unique voice in contemporary English poetry, and has been a satellite of excellence for the past 50 years.'
    David Morley, The Guardian
    Awards won by Charles Tomlinson (1927 - 2015) Winner, 2003 New Criterion Poetry Prize (Skywriting)
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