Stephen Spender (1909-1995)
Stephen Spender (1909-1995) was the author of eight poetry books, seven books of essays, one autobiography, one play, one fiction book, and one book of letters. He was born in London and, after attending Oxford University, fought in the Spanish Civil War. He went on to work in the fire service in London during WWII. Spender then co-founded Horizon magazine and edited it for two years. He also edited the magazine Encounter for 13 years, and taught English at University College in London for seven years. He was knighted in 1983. Spender served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1965. He also often went on lecture tours in America; he was a Mellon lecturer in Washington, DC. Much of his poetry was influenced by his passion for social justice and his opposition to society as it was at the time. Several of his poetry books were Poems of Dedication (1947), The Still Centre (1939), and Vienna (1934).
Written by Monica Root, December 2013.