John Greening

Poet, Playwright
Newnham College, University of Cambridge

John Greening is a poet, critic and editor who has spent much of his life teaching adults and young people — in Scotland, in the USA, but chiefly in Cambridgeshire. Two years as a volunteer in Upper Egypt led to his first collection, Westerners, and there have been over a dozen others, including Hunts: poems 1979–2009 and most recently To the War Poets (Carcanet). He has edited a new edition of Edmund Blunden’s First World War memoir Undertones of War (OUP, 2015) and a major poetry anthology, Accompanied Voices: poets on composers from Thomas Tallis to Arvo Pärt (Boydell, 2015). Music is one of his preoccupations (he worked for a while at BBC Radio 3) and a song-cycle based on his poems was performed by the Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall. A reviewer of poetry for the TLS since the mid-1990s, John has published critical guides to Elizabethan love poets, Yeats, Hardy, Edward Thomas, Ted Hughes and poets of the First World War. His Poetry Masterclass emerged from creative writing workshops he ran in Cornwall. He is currently collaborating with Penelope Shuttle on a book about Hounslow Heath. He has also written plays including one about the Lindbergh kidnap (staged in Asheville, USA), and a modern masque composed for the fellows at Hawthornden Castle when he was a writer-in-residence there. Among other awards, John Greening has won the Bridport and the TLS prizes, and in 2008 a Cholmondeley Award for services to poetry.

John Greening

Fellowships

Newnham College, University of Cambridge 2015-17