Angels Over Elsinore

Clive James

2010 Nominee

Costa Poetry Award

25 March 2011
112 pages


One of his most accomplished collections, Angels Over Elsinore brings together the finest poetry written between 2003–2008 by Clive James, much-loved broadcaster, poet and author of Unreliable Memoirs.

From reminiscences of his Australian childhood and elegies for friends and family, to hilarious observations on the state of the language in the twenty-first century and reflections on art, metaphysics, science and faith, Angels Over Elsinore is simultaneously witty, passionate and provocative.

Fired by the same energy and rigorous intelligence as his acclaimed prose, the verse of Clive James displays a breathtaking range – but for all its dazzling variety, one theme sings through: his inexhaustible fascination with fellow humans.

'Touching, elegant and insightful' – Manchester Evening News

Clive James
(1939–2019) was a broadcaster, critic, poet, memoirist and novelist. His acclaimed poetry includes the collection Sentenced to Life and a translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy, both Sunday Times bestsellers. His passion for and knowledge of poetry are distilled in his book of criticism on the subject, Poetry Notebook, and, written in the last year of his life, his personal annotated anthology of favourite poems, The Fire Of Joy.

Praise for Clive James:

'He will be seen, I think, as one of the most important and influential writers of our time' – Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

'Wise, witty, terrifying, unflinching and extraordinarily alive' – A.S. Byatt, critic and author of Possession: A Romance

'Clive James is a true poet' – Peter Porter, London Review of Books

Touching, elegant and insightful, James's skilful turn of phrase is deceptively easy and his love of language evident.