Dick Davis Biography
(1945– ), Shade Mariners, In the Distance, Seeing the World, The Covenant
British poet, born in Portsmouth, educated at King's College, Cambridge, and the University of Manchester. He held a succession of teaching posts in Greece, Italy, Iran, and elsewhere from 1967 to 1988, when he became Assistant Professor of Persian at Ohio State University. His poetry was first collected with work by Clive Wilmer and Robert Wells in Shade Mariners (1970). In the Distance (1975) was his first independent collection; subsequent volumes include Seeing the World (1980) and The Covenant (1984). Davis has been highly acclaimed for the fluency with which he expresses his personal and cultural preoccupations in strict traditional forms. Much of his work displays an epigrammatic brevity and wit and is rich in precisely observed detail. Devices and Desires: New and Selected Poems 1967–1987 appeared in 1989. His other publications include Wisdom and Wilderness (1983), a critical study of the work of Yvor Winters. He is also highly regarded for his translations, which include a version of Farrad Attar's twelfth-century Persian religious allegory The Conference of the Birds (with Afkham Darbandi, 1984).
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