Clive James is the author of more than forty books. As well as essays, he has published collections of literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels, plus five volumes of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week Was In June, North Face of Soho and The Blaze of Obscurity. As a television performer he appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. His popular Radio 4 series A Point of View has been published in volume form. He has also published several poetry collections, a verse commentary of Proust, Gate of Lilacs, and a translation of Dantes The Divine Comedy. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He holds honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia.
A Friday poem to celebrate Clive James's Collected Poems 1958 - 2015.
Our pick of the most beautiful, moving and original verses ever written about love and marriage, from the romantic to the unusual and the traditional to the contemporary, there's something for every couple.
Our favourite Clive James quotes from across his long career as a writer and poet.
Clive James shares the poetry books that continue to inspire him.
by Clive JamesOld age is not my problem. Bad health, yes.
If I were well again, I’d walk for miles,
My name a synonym for tirelessness.
Hell: Canto 1, lines 1 – 27by Dante Alighieri, translated by Clive JamesAt the mid-point of the path through life, I found
Myself lost in a wood so dark, the way
Ahead was blotted out.
Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.
So slow a fading out brings no real pain.
Breath growing short
Is just uncomfortable. You feel the drain
Of energy, but thought and sight remain:
Time is a very hard thing to write about well, yet this poem makes it seem so simple. It lures you into thinking it will be about the majesty of nature – which it is, in a way – before grabbing your ideas and your all too believing eyes and throwing them aside.
Kate Clanchy's Meeting the English shortlisted for the Costa First Novel; Robin Robertson's Hill of Doors and Clive James's translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy on the Costa Poetry shortlist.
Designer Stuart Wilson on how he came up with the cover for Clive James's translation of The Divine Comedy.
As an editor, you work with all kinds of authors. Sometimes, you're lucky enough to work with authors you've previously read and admired - and, occasionally, you get to work with someone you've even, perhaps, been slightly - or maybe completely - in awe of.
When Cultural Amnesia was launched last year I wasn't sure that it would even float. It was a pleasant surprise to see it steaming off in the direction of every horizon at once.
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