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Sir J. C. Squire (Sir John Collings Squire) Biography

(1884–1958), (Sir John Collings Squire), New Age, New Statesman, London Mercury, The Three Hills, American Poems

British poet and editor, born in Plymouth, educated at St John's College, Cambridge. He began his career as a literary journalist with the New Age, being, like its editor A. R. Orage, a convinced Fabian socialist. In 1917 he became editor of the New Statesman and founded the London Mercury in 1919. In the course of the 1920s he emerged as a man of considerable literary influence. He was unofficial leader of a group of poets and critics sharing an antipathy to Modernism, whom their detractors, notably the Sitwells, referred to as ‘the Squirearchy’. Among his collections of poetry are The Three Hills (1913), American Poems (1923), and A Face in the Candlelight (1932). Collected Poems (1959) carried an introduction by John Betjeman, whose work Squire had been among the first to publish. While much of his verse is indifferently conventional, he produced numerous memorable poems, including the well-known ‘Winter Nightfall’, which typifies the disquiet frequently present in his finest work, and ‘The Stockyard’, a harrowing account in free verse of a visit to a Chicago abattoir. His many other publications include the short stories of The Grub Street Nights' Entertainment (1924) and two volumes of memoirs, The Honeysuckle and the Bee (1937) and Water-Music (1939). Squire: Most Generous of Men (1963) is a biography by P. Howarth.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Souvenirs to St Joan of the Stockyards (Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe)