The late U.A. Fanthorpe (1929-2009) was a later developer as a writer, not publishing any poetry until she was 45. This gathering of her early, uncollected poems shows the latent mastery and the rapid development of the craft that would bring her wide critical acclaim and an affe... read full description below.
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||20 June 2019 by Faber Factory
||Adobe Ebook Compatible Devices
||By Fanthorpe, U. A.
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When she died, in 2009, Anthony Thwaite described U.A. Fanthorpe as a 'smiling subversive with a voice like bird-song'. An encouraging example to all late developers, this particular bird's voice took its time: she didn't become a poet until she was 45. But these examples of her very earliest work show the latent mastery and the rapid development of the craft that would bring her wide critical acclaim and an affectionate general readership. The mysteries of the trade gradually reveal themselves as rooted in a wide and uncensored range of subject-matter, a life-time's love of words, and an intuitive grasp of the mechanics of form and voice. Recognising her role so late, she was a woman in a hurry; there wasn't time for self-consciousness or grandiose notions of 'vocation'. 'A poet,' she said, 'is a smuggler. He imports things clandestinely which are not supposed to have got through the customs.' Poetry 'happened to me', she would say. Her job? To listen, to pass it on.
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U.A. Fanthorpe (1929-2009) was born in Kent and read English at St Anneas College, Oxford, before training as a teacher. She was Head of English at Cheltenham Ladiesa College, and then abecame a middle-aged drop-out in order to writea, publishing her first collection, Side Effects, in 1978. Her eight volumes of poetry were all published by Peterloo, and her Selected Poems was published by Penguin in 1986. Her 1995 collection Safe as Houses was included on the A-level syllabus. Enitharmon Press published her Christmas Poems (2002) and From Me to You (2007), love poems by Fanthorpe and R.V. Bailey. In 1994 U.A. Fanthorpe was the first woman to be nominated for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry. She was made a CBE in 2001 and given the Queenas Gold Medal for Poetry in 2003, when her Collected Poems was published. Her New and Collected Poems (2010) and Berowneas Book (2015) were both published by Enitharmon. Her early, uncollected poems are now included in Beginneras Luck, edited by R.V. Bailey (Bloodaxe Books, 2019).