John Fuller

b. 1937
John Fuller

A prolific poet, novelist, children’s writer, critic, and editor, John Fuller has written or edited nearly 50 books, including more than a dozen collections of poetry. Fuller was born in Kent, England, and his father was the poet Roy Fuller. John Fuller was mentored by W.H. Auden and also influenced by Eliot, Graves, and Stevens. His poetry displays a virtuosic ease within the constraints of formal, metered verse; it is a poetry of ideas. In a 2006 interview with Lidia Vianu, Fuller explained that “a good poem takes some irresolvable complication, worries it to death like a dog with a bone, and leaves it still unresolved. The pleasure of the poem lies entirely in the worrying, the verbal growling and play. Life itself stubbornly remains entirely like a bone.”

Fuller published his first poem at 16; in 1960, at age 23, he won the Newdigate Prize for his poem “A Dialogue between Caliban and Ariel.” Now Fellow Emeritus of Magdalen College, Oxford, Fuller began his teaching career in 1962 at the State University of New York, where he helped Ian Hamilton start The Review.

Fuller has won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for Epistles to Several Persons (1973), the Southern Arts Literature Prize for The Illusionists (1980), and the Forward Poetry Prize for Stones and Fires (1996). He was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award for The Space of Joy (2006). He also won the 2006 Michael Braude Award for Light Verse. His first novel, Flying to Nowhere (1983), won the Whitbread Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Fuller is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Oxford.

Poet Categorization

POET’S REGION England

LIFE SPAN 1937–

John Fuller

Biography

A prolific poet, novelist, children’s writer, critic, and editor, John Fuller has written or edited nearly 50 books, including more than a dozen collections of poetry. Fuller was born in Kent, England, and his father was the poet Roy Fuller. John Fuller was mentored by W.H. Auden and also influenced by Eliot, Graves, and Stevens. His poetry displays a virtuosic ease within the constraints of formal, metered verse; it is a poetry . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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