John Greening was born in 1954 in London and studied in Swansea, Exeter and Mannheim He worked for the BBC, then in Upper Egypt before becoming a school-teacher. In 2014 he was appointed Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 2008, he received a Cholmondeley Award for poetry and he has won the Bridport Prize and the TLS Centenary Prize. He has twice been a Hawthornden Fellow and a Fellow of the English Association, has reviewed poetry for the Times Literary Supplementsince the 1990s and regularly judges the Society of Authors’ Eric Gregory Awards. He has appeared at major festivals and regularly lectures on poetry.
John Greening’s critical books include Poetry Masterclass (Greenwich Exchange, 2011) and studies of Ted Hughes, Edward Thomas, Hardy, Yeats, the Elizabethans and First World War poets. Following Hunts: Poems 1979-2009, which gathered together a dozen earlier books, several further collections of poetry have appeared, notably To the War Poets (Carcanet/Oxford Poets). 2015 saw publication of his expanded, illustrated edition of Edmund Blunden’s war memoir Undertones of War (Oxford), and the anthology Accompanied Voices: Poets on Composers from Thomas Tallis to Arvo Pärt (Boydell). He has worked closely with Roderick Williams on his Schubert Project and is preparing libretti for Cecilia McDowall and Philip Lancaster. His song cycle, Falls, to music by Mottram, was performed by the Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall and in Aldeburgh. In 2016, Heath appeared, a collaboration with Penelope Shuttle, then two further volumes: Threading a Dream: a Poet on the Nile (Gatehouse) and his selection of Geoffrey Grigson’s poetry. In 2018 The Silence appears from Carcanet.