James Fenton was born in Lincoln in 1949 and educated at Magdalen College,
Oxford where he won the Newdigate Prize for poetry. He has worked as political
journalist, drama critic, book reviewer, war correspondent, foreign correspondent
and columnist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was
Oxford Professor of Poetry for the period 1994-99. In 2007, Fenton was
awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
He has recently adapted The Orphan of Zhao
for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Orphan of Zhao
James Fenton has adapted The Orphan of Zhao,
a Chinese classic sometimes referred to as the Chinese Hamlet.
Directed by Gregory Doran for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In the aftermath of a violent coup, an epic
story of self-sacrifice and revenge plays out as a young orphan
discovers the shattering truth behind his childhood.
Yellow Tulips is a gathering from
four decades of work by a writer described by the Observer as
'the most talented poet of his generation'.
Winner of both the Queen's Gold Medal and the
Whitbread Prize for Poetry, James Fenton has given readers some
of the most memorable lyric verse of the past decades, from the
formal skill that marked his debut, Terminal Moraine, to
the dramatic and political monologues of The Memory of War
and Children in Exile, through to the unforgettable love
poems of Out of Danger.
This assembly, made by the author himself, includes
a generous offering of his most recent, uncollected work: it is
an essential selection by, as Stephen Spender put it, 'a brilliant
poet of technical virtuosity'.
Fenton's earliest poetry was published by John Fuller in his garage
in Oxford. John Fuller & the Sycamore Press: A Bibliographic
History includes over twenty author contributions recalling
John Fuller, his press, and the poetry he published. Fuller provides
a foreword and an interview, and each of the publications he produced
is featured in a descriptive bibliography. (Order direct from
Knoll Press, Amazon.co.uk,
From the Publisher:
Established in 1968, John Fuller's
Sycamore Press published some of the most influential and critically
acclaimed writers of the past half-century. In addition to publishing
established authors, such as W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin, and
Peter Porter, the press sought to promote young poets, many
of whom have gone on to achieve great success.
The Sycamore Press ceased operations
in 1992, but it remains an excellent example of the unique qualities
associated with the small press movement in England. In addition
to a full descriptive bibliography, the book includes an interview
with John Fuller and numerous personal reflections by Sycamore
Press authors about John Fuller, the press, and the works it
"There is a strong case to
be made that James Fenton is the finest poet writing in English.
His technical virtuosity is beyond doubt; his long experience
as war correspondent, journalist and traveller has given him an
unmatched range of subject matter - war and revolution, the dementia
of collective passions, reflections on fate, and love - he has
written some of the most beautiful love poems of our times. He
is a poet of great emotional depth and wisdom. Increasingly, his
work has a strong connection with song. He also has a taste for
light verse of exquisite charm and humour. He is a modern master."