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Charles Tomlinson (Alfred Charles Tomlinson) Biography

(1927– ), (Alfred Charles Tomlinson), The Necklace, A Peopled Landscape, The Way of a World, The Shaft

British poet and graphic artist, born in Stoke-on-Trent, educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, and the University of London. In 1957 he became a lecturer at the University of Bristol, where he was appointed Professor of English in 1982. The Necklace (1955), his first substantial collection of verse, was more favourably received in the USA than in Britain. His numerous subsequent volumes include A Peopled Landscape (1963), The Way of a World (1969), The Shaft (1974), Notes from New York (1984), Collected Poems (1985), The Door in the Wall (1992), and Jubilation (1995). Tomlinson has stated that he aspires to ‘a phenomenological poetry’ giving ‘objects their own existences’, indicating the affinities with Objectivist Poetry to which his prose work Some Americans: A Personal Record (1981) attests. The primacy of visual responses in his verse results in patterns of imagery that combine striking clarity with scrupulous complexity of structure. Some of his later work makes explicit the metaphysical and celebratory impulses underlying his conceptions of poetry. The visual refinement of his writing accords with his work as a graphic artist, which is published in In Black and White (1975). His other publications include Translations (1983), containing his versions of the poetry of Octavio Paz and Antonio Machado, and Poetry and Metamorphosis (1983), a collection of his lectures.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: James Thomson Biography to Hugh [Redwald] Trevor-Roper Baron Dacre Biography