From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Neville Frederick Porter (born 16
February 1929) is an Australian-born British poet. He was a regular participant in the
weekly meetings of The Group.
Porter was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1929. His mother died in 1938.
He emigrated to England in 1951, and in 1955 he began attending
meetings of "The Group."
He met Shirley Jannice Henry in 1958 and they married in 1961.
They had two daughters born in 1962 and 1965. Jannice committed
suicide in 1974.
In 1991 Porter married Christine Berg.
In 2001 he was Poet in Residence at the Royal Albert
In 2004 he was one of the nominees for the prestigious position
of Professor of Poetry at Oxford University.
His poems first began appearing in summer 1958 and October 1959
issues of Delta. The
publication of his poem 'Metamorphosis' in the Times Literary Supplement in January 1960
brought his work to a wider audience. His
first collection — Once Bitten Twice Bitten — was
published by Scorpion Press in 1961.
Influences on his work include: W. H. Auden, John Ashbery, and Wallace
He has gone through distinct poetic stages, from the epigrams
and satires of his early works - Once Bitten Twice Bitten,
to the elegiac mode of his later ones - The Cost of
Seriousness and English Subtitles.
Much of his work is satire,
and he has been described as one of the few really talented
satirists to emerge in the 1950s and 1960s.
In a recorded conversation with his friend Clive James he
"the glory of present-day English writing in America, in
Australia and in Britain, is what is left over of the old regular
metrical pattern and how that can be adapted to the new sense that
the main element, the main fixture of poetry is no longer the foot
(you know, the iambus or the trochee) but the cadence. It seems
that what is very important is to get the best of the old
authority, the best of the old discipline along with the best of
the new freedom of expression."
In 2007 he was made a Royal Society of Literature Companion of
Literature, an honour bestowed to a maximum of ten living
- Once Bitten Twice Bitten, Scorpion Press, 1961.
- Poems Ancient and Modern, Scorpion Press, 1964.
- A Porter Folio, Scorpion Press, 1969.
- The Last of England, Oxford University Press,
- After Martial, Oxford University Press, 1972.
- Preaching to the Converted, Oxford University Press,
- Jonah, with Arthur Boyd Secker
& Warburg, 1973.
- Living in a Calm Country, Oxford University Press,
- The Lady and the Unicorn (poetry book)|The Lady and the
Unicorn, with Arthur Boyd Secker & Warburg,
- The Cost of Seriousness, Oxford University Press,
- English Subtitles, Oxford University Press, 1981.
- Fast Forward (poetry book)|Fast Forward, Oxford
University Press, 1984.
- Narcissus with Arthur Boyd, Seckers & Warburg,
- The Automatic Oracle, Oxford University Press,
- Mars, with Arthur Boyd Deutsch, 1988.
- Possible Worlds, Oxford University Press, 1989.
- The Chair of Babel, Oxford University Press,
- Millennial Fables, Oxford University Press, 1994.
- Dragons in Their Pleasant Palaces, Oxford University
- Both Ends Against the Middle, 1999 as a section in
Collected Poems Volume 2.
- Max Is Missing, Picador/Macmillan, 2001.
- Afterburner, Picador/Macmillan, 2004.
- Better Than God, Picador, 2009
- Solemn Adultery at Breakfast Creek The Keepsake Press,
London, 1968 (200 copies)
- The Animal Programme: Four Poems Anvil Press Poetry
Ltd, London, 1982 (250 copies). ISBN 0856461075.
- A King's Lynn Suite, King's Lynn Poetry Festival,
- Return to Kerguelen, Vagabond Press, London,
- Words Without Music, Sycamore Press, 1968.
- Epigrams by Martial, Poem-of-the-Month Club,
- After Martial Oxford University Press, 1972.
- from the Greek Anthology in Penguin Classics
- Michelangelo, Life, Letters, and Poetry, with George Bull Oxford
University Press, 1987.
- Liu Hongbin, A Day Within Days, with the author. Ambit
Books, London 2006
- Collected Poems, Oxford University Press, 1983.
- A Porter Selected: Poems 1959-1989. Oxford University
- Collected Poems. 2 vols. Oxford & Melbourne:
Oxford University Press, 1999.
- Saving from the Wreck: Essays on Poetry. Trent,
Collections and Anthologies
- A Choice of Pope’s Verse Faber & Faber, 1971.
- New Poems, 1971-1972: A P. E. N. Anthology of Contemporary
Poetry Hutchinson, 1972.
- The English Poets: From Chaucer to Edward Thomas, with
Thwaite Secker & Warburg, 1974.
- New Poetry I, with Charles Osborne, Arts Council of Great
- Thomas Hardy, selected, with photographs by John Hedgecoe.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1981.
- The Faber Book of Modern Verse 4th edition, originally
edited by Michael Roberts Faber & Faber,
- William Blake, selected , Oxford University Press,
- Christina Rossetti, selected, Oxford University Press,
- William Shakespeare, with an introduction, C.N.
Potter, 1987, Aurum, 1988.
- Complete Poems, by Martin Bell, Bloodaxe, 1988.
- John Donne, edited, Aurum, 1988.
- The Fate of Vultures: New Poetry of Africa, with Kofi Anyidoho, and
Zimunya. Heinemann International, 1989.
- Lord Byron, Aurum, 1989
- W. B. Yeats: The Last Romantic, Aurum, 1990.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, selected, Aurum, 1991.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, selected, Aurum,
- Robert Burns, selected, Aurum, 1992.
- The Romantic Poets: Byron, Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth,
selected, Aurum, 1992.
- Robert Browning, selected, Aurum, 1993.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, selected Aurum, 1994.
- The Oxford Book of Australian Verse Oxford University
- Selected Poems of Lawrence Durrell Faber and Faber,
- When London Calls: The Expatriation of Australian Creative
Artists to Britain, Cambridge University Press, 1999
- Kaiser, John R: Peter Porter: A Bibliography 1954 –
1986 Mansell, London and New York, 1990. ISBN
- Steele, Peter,
Peter Porter: Oxford Australian Writers Oxford University
Press, Melbourne, 1992. ISBN 0-19-553282-1