An Evening with the Poet


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

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.

Fenton's Selected Poems (2006) is published by Penguin and Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is also the editor of The New Faber Book of Love Poems (2008) and D. H. Lawrence's Selected Poems (2009) (Penguin).
James Fenton’s visit to CMC is sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.