Spender, Sir Stephen (Harold)

Spender, Sir Stephen (Harold)

biographical name

(born Feb. 28, 1909, London, Eng.—died July 16, 1995, London) English poet and critic. While an undergraduate at Oxford, Spender met the poets W.H. Auden and C. Day-Lewis. In the 1930s they became identified with politically conscious, leftist “new writing.” His poems, expressing a self-critical, compassionate personality, appear in volumes from Poems (1933) to Dolphins (1994). He was better known for his perceptive criticism, as in The Destructive Element (1935), The Making of a Poem (1955), and The Struggle of the Modern (1963), and for his association with the influential review Encounter (1953–67). He also wrote short stories, essays, and autobiography.

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