A new biography of Robert Graves by Dr Jean Moorcroft-Wilson is due to be published by Bloomsbury in August 2018, covering the years from his birth in London, school at Charterhouse, holidays in Harlech, his service with the Royal Welch Fusiliers in the First World War, his marriage to Nancy Nicholson, study at Oxford, the arrival of the American poet Laura Riding, departure to Egypt with both women and his and Nancy’s children in 1926 to be a Professor of English at Cairo University, and their return to England. It will also cover their and their circle’s tumultuous relationships in London, until Riding’s jump from a high window and Graves’s eventual departure to Mallorca with Riding, but without Nancy or his children, after writing his autobiography Good-bye To All That at the age of 33.

‘Robert Graves: From Great War Poet to Good-bye To All That 1895-1929’ by Jean Moorcroft-Wilson will be published by Bloomsbury Continuum on 23 August 2018.

Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson is well-known to many WPA members for her writing and lectures and has been described as the ‘doyenne of war poet biographers’. Her publications include biographies of Isaac Rosenberg (on whom she lectures worldwide), Siegfried Sassoon, Edward Thomas and Virginia Woolf. This new biography will cover the whole of the period in which Robert Graves wrote most of his work about war, from the publication of his first book of poetry Over the Brazier in the year of the Battle of the Somme, in which he was severely wounded and left on the battlefield presumed ‘died of wounds’, to that of his famous memoir of the war, Good-bye To All That.

Publishers Bloomsbury Continuum are offering a pre-publication discount of 10% on the hardback price of £25, for copies ordered directly from them. In a rather Catch-22 move for books costing £25, orders over £25 are post-free. Order 2 copies post-free for £45 or one for £22.50 plus postage, at https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/robert-graves-9781472929143.

Stephen Fry has lent his backing to an exciting new national poetry competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

A competition named A Poem to Remember and chaired by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is intended to honour and convey the challenges faced by the current men and women serving in the Military, and their families.

The winning poem will be chosen by the public and read by HRH The Duke of Cambridge at a special event at the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) this summer. It will also be mounted at the DNRC and its author will receive a cash prize of £2,000, with four runners-up receiving £500. Only one entry is permitted per person. Entries are acceptable from any location. Poems must be no longer than 25 lines. The closing date and time for entries is April 9, 2018, at 23.59 pm. The competition is open to everyone aged 17 and over.

Entries will be whittled down to a long list of 25 before a short list of five judged the best are selected by a panel of short list judges, chaired by historian and broadcaster Dan Snow and including Stephen Fry and Andy McNab. The winner will then be decided by a public vote.

More information on how to enter the competition can be found here.


Plans are advanced for the 14th International Robert Graves Society Conference, 10th – 14th July 2018. The theme this year will be:

‘Robert Graves and Europe: Good-bye to All That / But It Still Goes On’

The conference will take place at the former Gran Hotel, Palma de Mallorca, where Graves and Riding stayed on their arrival in Palma in 1929, and at Deià, where they lived until 1936. Graves returned to Mallorca in 1946 with Beryl Pritchard Graves and their family and lived in Deià until his death in 1985.

The hotel is now the Caixa Cultural, a cultural centre in Palma run by La Caixa, a major Catalan and Spanish bank. This will be the fifth Robert Graves conference to be held there and at Deià since the centenary conference in Mallorca held in 1995. We are most grateful to La Caixa bank and staff at Caixa Cultural for their continued support.

The timings of the conference are likely to be Tuesday, 10th July 2018, at 5.00 pm (approx) – Saturday, 14th July 2018, at 2:00 pm (approx). The CFP deadline has been extended to 31 March 2018. The CFP and more details of the event are published at http://www.robertgraves.org/society/index.php?id=47, where there is also a link to the registration page at http://robertgraves.org/society/news.php?id=58&group_id=4 . Accommodation options are being arranged and will be published online soon.

Submit you proposal to give a paper and/or book your place at Robert Graves Mallorca 2018 now by sending your proposal to Charles Mundye at C.Mundye@shu.ac.uk (paper proposals or questions about the CFP or academic programme) or Patrick Villa, pjvilla@aol.com (hotels, travel, administrative and financial details) now!

This series was produced as part of the University of Oxford, Faculty of English Spring School (3-5 April 2014) and is aimed at members of the public, particularly those who have read some World War One poetry and are now seeking a deeper critical appreciation.

Oxford University has made theses podcasts available on an on an open education basis and under a Creative Commons licence. Visit the following page to see a list of the lectures recorded and listen to them: http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/british-world-war-one-poetry-introduction . Under the terms of the CC licence the recordings should not be republished commercially.