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William Scammell Biography

(1939– ), Queen Mary, Yes and No, Jouissance, The Game: Tennis Poems, Bleeding Heart Yard

verse poems university poet

British poet, born in Hythe, Hampshire; he left school at the age of 15 and worked in various capacities, including as a journalist and as a photographer aboard the Queen Mary, before entering the University of Bristol. In 1975 he became a lecturer at the University of Newcastle. His collections of verse include Yes and No (1979), which established his reputation as a poet of considerable technical accomplishment, Jouissance (1985), The Game: Tennis Poems (1992), Bleeding Heart Yard (1992), and Five Easy Pieces (1993). The range of his work is impressive, extending as it does from translations of the Latin poetry of Ronsard and Milton featured in A Second Life (1982) to the imaginatively expansive accounts of his experiences of America in Eldorado (1987). Whether in conversationally cadenced free verse or in elaborately traditional forms, his verse invariably displays an attractive vitality and accessibility. Among the works published under his editorship in Between Comets (1984), a distinguished collection of poems and essays to commemorate Norman Nicholson's seventieth birthday. Scammell's other books include the critical and biographical study Keith Douglas (1988).

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