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Kenneth White Biography

(1936– ), Wild Coal, The Cold Wind of Dawn, The Most Difficult Area

British poet, born in Glasgow, educated at the University of Glasgow, and the Universities of Munich and Paris. After periods teaching at the University of Glasgow, he became Professor of twentieth-century poetics at the Sorbonne in 1983. White writes both poetry and prose in French as well as English. Wild Coal (1963), The Cold Wind of Dawn (1966), The Most Difficult Area (1968), and A Walk Along the Shore (1977) are among the publications represented in The Bird Path: Collected Longer Poems (1989) and Handbook for the Diamond Country: Collected Shorter Poems 19601990 (1990). Much of his verse is philosophical in character and is distinguished by the clarity of its imagery and the directness of its finely cadenced language. Like his poetry, White's prose reflects his extensive travelling in Europe, America, and the Far East, which respectively provide backgrounds for the descriptive and autobiographical writings in Travels in the Drifting Dawn (1989), The Blue Road (1990), and Pilgrim of the Void (1990). His critical writings include The Tribal Dharma (1975), a study of the poetry of Gary Snyder, and The Life Technique of John Cowper Powys (1978).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Robert Penn Warren Biography to Kenneth White Biography