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Peter Dale (poet)


Dec 13, 2021

Peter John Dale (born 21 August 1938) is a British poet and translator particularly noted for his skilful but unobtrusive use of poetic form.

Peter Dale
Born Peter John Dale
(1938-08-21) 21 August 1938 (age 83)
Addlestone, Surrey, England
Occupation Poet, Translator
Genre Poetry

. . . Peter Dale (poet) . . .

Dale was born in Addlestone, Surrey in 1938. He took his BA in English at St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he studied between 1960–3.[1] He became Chair of the University Poetry Society succeeding his friend, the American Marshall Scholar, Wallace Kaufman, and made friends during this period with fellow poets Ian Hamilton[2] and William Cookson. He soon joined the latter as associate editor and later co-editor of Agenda until 1996. Other friends from that time whose careers intersected with his own were Kevin Crossley-Holland, Yann Lovelock and Grey Gowrie. In 1963 Dale and Kaufman wrote what they intended to be a statement of principles for a new poetry of intelligibility and concreteness. They used the pseudonym Victor Scott Smoley to introduce their essay and what was intended to be a volume of their own poetry. That work was never completed.[citation needed]

A teacher until his retirement in 1993, Dale eventually became Head of English at Hinchley Wood School. Besides his many collections of verse, other books include translations of François Villon, Jules Laforgue, Tristan Corbière and Dante, as well as several interviews with other poets and translators. A few of his own poems refer to his classroom experience, but in general he has remarked that “I like to work in absolute silence, which is hardly what a classroom has to offer. During invigilations the odd epigram could be managed.”[3] A selection of such epigrams was eventually published in 2007.

Another side of Dale’s work was his skill in drawing out a poet in conversation, based not only on a knowledge of his work but the insight available to a fellow practitioner. In 1993, he had interviewed Ian Hamilton for Agenda.[4] Then in 1997 Hamilton proposed the Between the Lines series of in-depth interviews over dinner with Dale and Philip Hoy. These were to be more wide-ranging than the usual interview and of book length.[5] Over the next three years Dale was to interview Michael Hamburger, Anthony Thwaite and Richard Wilbur for this series.

In 1963 Dale married Pauline Strouvelle, by whom he had a son and a daughter.[6] After 2008 he moved to live in Cardiff.

. . . Peter Dale (poet) . . .

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. . . Peter Dale (poet) . . .