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Alistair Elliot Biography

(1932– ), Contentions, Talking Back, On the Appian Way, My Country, Turning the Stones, The Lazarus Poems

poems talking poetry numerous

British poet, born in Liverpool; he spent his childhood in the north of England and the USA, and was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. Among other posts, he has been a librarian in Britain, Europe, and the Middle East. The first of his principal collections of poetry, Contentions (1978), was followed by subsequent volumes including Talking Back (1982); On the Appian Way (1984), a long sequence recounting his journey on foot from Rome to Brindisi; My Country (1989), a collected edition; and Turning the Stones (1993). Elliot's poetry is characterized by its urbane informality of tone and its fluent use of rhymed traditional forms. His work draws equally on personal experience and on his considerable erudition, which is put to entertaining use in the numerous imaginative dialogues with historical figures in Talking Back. His numerous translations include a version of Heinrich Heine's The Lazarus Poems (1979) and Euripides' Medea (1993). Among the works he has edited is Poems by James I and Others (1970).

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