Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology

Sir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival’s Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology publishes a selection from the entries to the competition chosen by its judges, Jane Draycott, Carolyn Leder, and Peter Robinson. From this gathering, the shortlist of commended entries and the prize winners were then drawn. These carefully selected and sequenced poems are presented here in the company of appropriate images reflecting this painter’s extraordinary life and works.


About the editors:

Peter Robinson has published aphorisms, short stories, various works of literary criticism and a novel, and has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize, the John Florio Prize and two PBS Recommendations for some of his books of poetry and translation. He is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading and poetry editor for Two Rivers Press.

Jane Draycott’s collections include The Occupant (Carcanet, a PBS 2016 Recommendation), Over (TS Eliot Prize shortlist 2009), and Prince Rupert’s Drop (Forward Poetry Prize shortlist 1999). Her translation of  the medieval elegy Pearl (2011) was a Times Stephen Spender Prize-winner. Work from her Two Rivers Press collection Tideway (2002, illustrations by Peter Hay) was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

Carolyn Leder is a recognised scholar on Stanley Spencer, a long-standing Trustee of the Stanley Spencer Gallery, and Consultant to three volumes of Spencer writings, edited by John Spencer 2016-18. She is in Who’s Who in Art, and is regularly consulted on Spencer by Sotheby’s. Her publications include a book on Spencer’s Scrapbook drawings and numerous exhibition catalogues.



Stanley Spencer Anthology
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