U. A. Fanthorpe (1929-2009) was born in Kent and read English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, before training as a teacher. In 1994 she was the first woman to be nominated for the post of Professor of Poetry at Oxford. She was awarded the CBE in 2001 and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2003, when her Collected Poems were published. In 2010 Enitharmon published her definitive volume, New and Collected Poems.
U.A. Fanthorpe was that rarest of literary beings, a poet who was hugely popular with the general public and at the same time very seriously regarded by fellow poets and literary critics for her originality, wit and humanity.
Since her death, much of her work has been out of print. Selected Poems, chosen from over thirty years of Fanthorpe’s distinctive and accessible writing by her partner R.V. Bailey, will delight all her existing fans as well as those who come to her poems for the first time.
‘U.A. possessed an endearing patriotism that was founded lastingly on love, not shakily on superiority. All her poems, in fact, were sourced in love. She could make the difficult accessible and accessible complex. She had not a smidgeon of pomposity or ego or self-regard. Indeed, if she had a fault as a poet, that fault was a closet virtue – modesty. She would have demurred herself, but U.A. Fanthorpe exerted a great influence on contemporary poetry.’
—Carol Ann Duffy
'The peerless U. A. Fanthorpe roots herself in the very earth of English poetry, connecting herself to Hughes and Browning, but also and more pertinently to the real experience of English living... so clear-eyed and so, well, completely poetic.'
Enitharmon / Dufour Editions