poem index

poet

Sir Geoffrey Hill

Geoffrey Hill was born June 18, 1932 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, a former market town of England. He received his BA and MA from Keble College, Oxford, where he studied English literature.

His first full collection of poems, For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958, was published in 1959 by Andre Deustch, followed by King Log (1968) and Mercian Hymns (1971), which received the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize.

Since then, Hill has published numerous books of poems, including Odi Barbare (Clutag Press, 2012); Clavics (Enitharmon Press, 2011); Oraclau | Oracles (2010); Selected Poems (2006); Without Title (2006); Scenes from Comus (2005); A Treatise of Civil Power (2005); The Orchards of Syon (Counterpoint Press, 2002); Speech! Speech! (2000); The Triumph of Love (1998), winner of the Heinemann Book Award; Canaan (1997), winner of the Kahn Award; The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy (1983); and Tenebrae (1978).

About Hill's poetry, the critic Harold Bloom has said, "Geoffrey Hill is the central poet-prophet of our augmenting darkness, and inherits the authority of the visionaries from Dante and Blake on to D.H. Lawrence."

The poet and critic John Hollander has said, "Just as George Herbert redeemed the wit of erotic verse for a vaster purpose, Hill wrestles triumphantly with the fallen angel of a public language whose every turn, gesture, device, and expression seems to have been falsified at a terrible time for the voice of moral imagination."

Hill has also published several collections of essays, journal and periodical articles, prose, and an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Brand.

His honors and awards include the Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Loines Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing from the Ingersoll Foundation, and a Churchill fellowship at the University of Bristol.

Hill is an honorary fellow of Keble College, Oxford, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, London, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has taught at Emmanuel College, Boston and Cambridge Universities, and the Universities of Ibadan in Nigeria, Leeds, and Michigan at Ann Arbor. He gave the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served as professor emeritus of English Literature and Religion, and as codirector of the Editorial Institute at Boston University.

In 2012, Hill was knighted for services to literature.

He currently serves as Poetry Professor for the University of Oxford.