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James Fenton photography by Gerrit Serne

Ian McEwan on James Fenton
"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."

-- Ian McEwan, responding to a question from the National Book Critics Circle
 
The New York Review of Books

Fenton frequently writes for the NYRB.

Many of his articles are available on the New York Review of Books websites (some may require subscription).

Visit their website for a list of articles ranging back to 1984.

 


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 ~ San Francisco


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. A new production will debut with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco in June 2014.

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.

James Fenton writes about his adaptation for the Guardian: "The Orphan of Zhao at the RSC: a very modern massacre," 30 October 2012.

For more information about the American Conservatory Theater production and to purchase tickets, please visit the ACT website.

 
Yellow Tulips: Poems 1968-2011


Yellow Tulips by James Fenton (Faber and Faber, 2012)
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'.

(Order direct from Faber and Faber or Amazon.co.uk)

 

 
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