Al Alvarez

Al Alvarez

Infobox Writer
name = Al Alvarez

caption = Alvarez in 2006
pseudonym =
birthname =
birthdate = birth date and age|1929|8|5|mf=y
birthplace = London
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = poet, critic
nationality = British
period = 1961–
genre =
subject =
movement =
notableworks =
influences =
influenced =
website =

Al Alvarez (born London, August 5, 1929) is an English poet, writer and critic who publishes under the name A. Alvarez and Al Alvarez.

Born Alfred Alvarez, he was educated at Oundle School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he took a First in English. After teaching briefly in Oxford and the USA, he became a fulltime writer in his late twenties. From 1956 to 1966, he was the poetry editor and critic for "The Observer", where he introduced British readers to John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Zbigniew Herbert, and Miroslav Holub.

Alvarez is the author of many non-fiction books. He is best known for his study of suicide, "The Savage God," which gained added resonance from his friendship with Sylvia Plath. He has also written on divorce ("Life After Marriage"), dreams ("Night"), and the oil industry ("Offshore"), as well as his hobbies of poker ("The Biggest Game In Town") and mountaineering ("Feeding the Rat," a profile of his frequent climbing partner Mo Antoine). His 1999 autobiography is entitled "Where Did It All Go Right?"

His 1962 poetry anthology "The New Poetry" was hailed at the time as a fresh departure. It championed the American style, in relation to the perceived excessive 'gentility' of British poetry of the time.

Alvarez was portrayed by Jared Harris in the 2003 film "Sylvia", which chronicles the troubled relationship between Sylvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes.

elected works

* "The Shaping Spirit" (1958)
* "The School of Donne" (1961)
* "The New Poetry' (1962)
* "Under Pressure" (1965)
* "Beyond All This Fiddle" (1968)
* "The Savage God" (1972)
* "Samuel Beckett" (1973)
* "Hers" (1974)
* "Hunt" (1979)
* "Life After Marriage" (1982)
* "The Biggest Game in Town" (1983)
* "Feeding the Rat" (1989)
* "Day of Atonement" (1991)
* "Night" (1995)
* "Where Did It All Go Right?" (1999)
* "Poker: Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats" (2001)
* "New & Selected Poems" (2002)
* "The Writer's Voice" (2005)
* "Risky Business" (2007)

ee also

* Confessional poetry
* List of British Jews

External links

* [ Book Review of 'The Biggest Game In Town']

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