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Thomas Blackburn (Thomas Eliel Fenwick Blackburn) Biography

(1916–77), (Thomas Eliel Fenwick Blackburn), The Outer Darkness, The Next Word, A Smell of Burning

poetry british

British poet, born in Hensingham, Cumberland, educated at Cambridge and Durham Universities. He was a lecturer at the University of Leeds from 1964 to 1966. His first collection of poetry, The Outer Darkness (1951), was followed by numerous others, including The Next Word (1958), A Smell of Burning (1961), The Fourth Man (1971), Bread for the Winter Birds (1980), and The Adjacent Kingdom: Collected Last Poems (1988; edited by Jean MacVean). His early poetry, while richly musical and thematically original, is sometimes conspicuously influenced by Yeats. A plainer and more flexible voice emerged during the 1960s when he began producing poetry of urgency and poise in response to his religious and psychological preoccupations. His work received generous attention in Rule and Energy (1963), John Press's important survey of post-war British poetry. Among his prose works are A Clip of Steel (1969), an autobiography recounting his devastatingly traumatic childhood experiences; The Feast of the Wolf (1971), a novel; and The Price of an Eye (1974), his critical work on modern poetry.

[back] Paul Blackburn Biography - (1926–71), Nation, The Dissolving Fabric, Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit, The Nets, Black Mountain Review, The Cities

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