Charles Tomlinson, poet and poetry translator, died at 88

  Dead Famous

Alfred Charles Tomlinson, born January 8, 1927 and died August 22, 2015, he was a British poet, translator, academic and illustrator. He was born and raised in Penkhull in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

After attending Longton High School, Tomlinson read English at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he studied with Donald Davie.

After leaving university he spent a year in Liguria in Italy and then taught in a primary school. He later became Emeritus Professor of English Poetry at the University of Bristol, England.

He and his wife Brenda now live in a Cotswold cottage at Ozleworth, near Wotton-under-Edge. They met as teenagers, and have two daughters and a granddaughter.

He was also a graphic artist, and In Black and White: The Graphics of Charles Tomlinson, with an introduction by Nobel prize-winner Octavio Paz, was published in 1975 and was the focus of a December 1975 edition of the BBC television series Arena.

Tomlinson’s first book of poetry was published in 1951, and his Collected Poems was published by the Oxford University Press in 1985, followed by the Selected Poems: 1955-1997 in 1997.

His poetry won international recognition and received many prizes in Europe and the United States, including the 1993 Bennett Award from Hudson Review; the New Criterion Poetry Prize, 2002; the Premio Internazionale di Poesie Ennio Flaiano, 2001; and the Premio Internazionale di Poesia Attilio Bertolucci, 2004.

Tomlinson was an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and of the Modern Language Association. Charles Tomlinson was made a CBE in 2001 for his contribution to literature.

Charles Tomlinson’s Selected Poems, his collections Skywriting, Metamorphoses and The Vineyard Above the Sea, amongst others, are all published by Carcanet Press.

His latest collection Cracks in the Universe was published in May 2006 in Carcanet Press’ Oxford Poets series.

Tomlinson was an authoritative translator of poetry from the Russian, Spanish and Italian, including work by Antonio Machado, Fyodor Tyutchev, César Vallejo and Attilio Bertolucci.

He collaborated with the Mexican writer Octavio Paz. He edited the seminal Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation and the Selected Poems of William Carlos Williams.

Other edited works include Marianne Moore: A Collection of Critical Essays, William Carlos Williams: A Critical Anthology, George Oppen: Selected Poems, Eros English’d: Classical Erotic Poetry in Translation from Golding to Hardy, and John Dryden: Poems Selected by Charles Tomlinson.

Poet and poetry translator Charles Tomlinson died August 22, 2015 at age 88.