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Peter Dale Biography

(1938– ), Agenda, The Storms, Mortal Fire, One Another, Too Much of Water, Earth Light, vers libre

British poet, born in Addlestone, Surrey, educated at St Peter's College, Oxford. A schoolteacher by profession, he was appointed Head of English at Hinchley Wood School, Surrey, in 1972. In 1971 he became co-editor of Agenda magazine. His reputation was firmly established with The Storms (1968), his first substantial collection of verse, which earned him an Arts Council bursary in 1969. Mortal Fire (1970) contains his best-known work. Further collections of his verse include the sonnet sequence entitled One Another (1978), Too Much of Water (1983), and Earth Light (1991). Dale's work is strongest when the emotional immediacy of his subject matter compels him to an impressive plainness of form and diction. His technical range is broad, encompassing concise imagistic treatments, accomplished use of traditional forms, and discursive vers libre. Since the appearance of The Legacy and Other Poems (1971), translations in strict ballade stanzas of works by Villon, Dale has been increasingly highly valued as a translator. Among his numerous other volumes of translations are Narrow Straits: Poems from the French (1985).

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