Duncan Forbes



Duncan Forbes has published six collections of poems, the most recent being Lifelines, his selected poems published by Enitharmon in 2009. He read classics and then studied English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and in 1974 his poems won an Eric Gregory award with particular praise from Philip Larkin. His poems were included in Poetry Introduction 5 (Faber, 1982), of which Vernon Scannell wrote ‘Duncan Forbes is a real discovery’.

His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 and in the USA. In 1984 his first collection August Autumn appeared from Secker & Warburg. This was followed by Public & Confidential (1989), Taking Liberties (1993), Voice Mail (2002) and Vision Mixer (2006), all published by Enitharmon. He has given poetry readings and talks from Durham to Hong Kong and has presented his work at more than 60 venues, including literary festivals at Aldeburgh, Brighton, Cheltenham, Henley, Swindon and Torbay, where he adjudicated the poetry competition in 2011.

His poem ‘La Brea’ won first prize in the 1998 TLS/Blackwells poetry competition and he has twice won a second prize in the Times Stephen Spender prize for poetry in translation. Duncan was a Hawthornden Fellow in 2009. A painter as well as a poet, his first solo exhibition called Thames and Elsewhere took place in Henley in autumn 2009. Formerly a teacher of English at secondary schools, he now lives in Gloucestershire.

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Image Credit: Jane Martindale

Duncan Forbes



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  • University of Worcester, 2012–2016