Latest (19/09/2018): A video recording of this new composition by Roxanna Panufnik which used lines from Isaac Rosenberg’s poem ‘In the Underworld’ and formed the opening performance of Last Night of the Proms 2018, can be found on the BBC’s website at:

The performance of this opening A BBC Radio 4 broadcast interviews the composers Roxanna Panufnik and Anna Meredith about their recent commissions to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One and to produce a new work for the Last Night of the Proms 2018. The work, Songs of Darkness, Dreams of Light features a poem ‘In the Underworld’ by First World War poet Isaac Rosenberg and will be included in the BBC’s ‘Last Night of the Proms’ this year, as the opening item on 8th September 2018, commencing at 7.15 pm. A copy of the poem is reproduced below, although it is possible that a revised version may be used in the concert.

Listen to the Radio 4 interview here:

Isaac Rosenberg’s relative Bernard Wynick has described the inclusion of the poem in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ as ‘fantastic’ and writes to the WPA as follows:

‘This is a great honour and a fitting tribute in the 100th.anniversary of [Isaac’s] death in action in France in the First World War.’


I have lived in the underworld so long:
How can you, a creature of light,
Without terror understand the song
And unmoved hear what moves in night?

I am a spirit that yours has found,
Strange, undelightful, obscure,
Created by some other God, and bound
In terrible darkness, breathing breath impure.

Creature of light and happiness,
Deeper the darkness was when you,
With your bright terror eddying the distress,
Grazed the dark waves and shivering further flew.

Isaac Rosenberg

On Thursday 1 November 2018, 6.30 p.m. to 7.45 p.m., Dr Guy Cuthbertson of Liverpool Hope University will give the this year’s Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, on Edward Thomas, titled ‘I should want nothing more: Edward Thomas and Simplicity’. The lecture will be given at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH. Admission is free but seats must be reserved in advance. For details and to book, visit

This new book by Owen biographer Dr Guy Cuthbertson uses letters, diaries and newspapers to build an hour-by-hour account of 11 November 1918, the day that brought the First World War to an end with the signing of the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th month of 1918.

A number of previous accounts have examined the military and political events of that day, but this new book looks in hour-by-hour detail at ‘how the people of Britain experienced the moment that peace became a reality’.

Further details of the book are on the Yale University Press’s website, here.

Guy Cuthbertson is also author of Wilfred Owen (Yale, 2014). He edited Edward Thomas’s Autobiographies (Oxford, 2011), co-edited Thomas’s England and Wales (Oxford, 2011), and Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry (Enitharmon, 2007).  He studied at St Andrews and Oxford universities, and is an Associate Professor at Liverpool Hope University.

On Thursday 1 November 2018 6.30 p.m. to 7.45 p.m. Guy Cuthbertson will give the this year’s Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, titled ‘I should want nothing more: Edward Thomas and Simplicity’. The lecture will be given at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH. Admission is free but seats must be reserved in advance. For details and to book visit:

Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson’s new biography of Robert Graves in the years 1895 – 1929, a period which included Graves joining the Army as an officer at the age of 19 at the outbreak of the First World War, his near-death from wounds during the Battle of the Somme, his marriage to Nancy Nicholson and the births of their four children, study at Oxford, and the many tumultuous events that followed after he met the American poet Laura Riding in January 1926, was published on 2 August 2018.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Graves’s son William Graves (from Robert’s second marriage, to Beryl Pritchard), will be examining Robert Graves’s position as a major First World War poet as well as a master prose chronicler of the War, at this year’s Wimbledon BookFest. Their talk will be on Thursday 11th October 2018 at 4.30 – 5.30 pm and the hour will include the presentation of the second Robert Graves Poetry Prize.

Tickets and further information can be found here:

Latest news! According to the websites of both and, the publication date for this title has been moved from 23 August to 2 August, 2018 — that is, this week!

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, marriage to Nancy Nicholson, study at Oxford, the arrival of the American poet Laura Riding, his departure to Egypt in 1926 with both women and his and Nancy’s four children 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 2 August 2018.

Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson is well-known to many WPA members and those of other war poetry groups 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.

Bloomsbury Continuum is offering an exclusive discount of 30% off the price of this book to members of the Robert Graves Society or others who attended the recent 14th International Robert Graves Conference at Mallorca, 10th – 14th July 2018. Contact to obtain the discount code and then order online directly from Bloomsbury, at Discounts for other markets can be requested from Bloomsbury if required. Please contact if you would like one for your market. A general pre-order discount of 10% is also available to all.

Prices on Amazon and other bookshops will probably reduce once the publication date has passed. Blackwells are currently offering a pre-order price of £17.21 with free UK delivery. See: 

Kindle and some other e-book formats are also available for pre-order. These formats will be released on 8 August 2018.

This major new anthology of war poetry brings together for the first time the work of poets who saw active service on the Western Front, but not with a gun in their hand. Their role was to save life, not to take it.

Ernest Hemingway and E E Cummings drove ambulances. Mary Borden, Carola Oman and Vera Brittain were nurses. All of them volunteered their services to help those caught up in the war, often at great personal risk to themselves.

Finding themselves amid scenes of unimaginable horror, each one experienced the realities of the war first-hand and wrote about what they saw and did with great honesty and compassion.

Release date: June 2018

Book launch: Professor Paul O’Prey will speak about the book at La Caixa Cultural, Palma de Mallorca, Spain on Wednesday 11 July, at a small launch event during the XIV International Robert Graves Conference there, 10-14 July 2018. The date and time of the launch is to be confirmed. Contact for further details.

Copies of the anthology, published by Dare-Gale Press, can be ordered via Amazon in the UK or through the University of Chicago Press in the USA.


Ivor Gurney: poet and composer

Free Event

At the Ivor Gurney Hall; King’s School Gloucester, Gloucester, GL1 2BG
7.30 pm and 8.30 pm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Tel: 07739910510

Ivor Gurney: poet and composer


For further details, and a map of the venue, click on the link below:

An exciting national poetry competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is taking place. A shortlist of the five judged the best, with the full texts of the five poems, has been published. The winner is being decided now by a public vote in which you can now participate. One vote per person is permitted.

The competition is named A Poem to Remember and chaired by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. It 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 per person was permitted. Entries from any location were accepted. Poems had to be no longer than 25 lines. The closing date for entries was 9 April 2018. The competition was open to everyone aged 17 and over.

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

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

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: . Under the terms of the CC licence the recordings should not be republished commercially.

Mary Borden Poems of Love and War edited by Paul O’Prey (Dare-Gale Press)Borden foto 4x3

Suffragette, socialite, novelist, nurse, Mary Borden wrote some of the most remarkable poems of the First World War. Still in her twenties, she used her own money to set up and run a field hospital for French soldiers at the Somme, situated ‘as close to the fighting as possible’. Her poems are spontaneous, passionate reactions to what she saw and did. Although married with three children, she fell in love with a young British officer she met at the Front. The poems she wrote to him while they were both at the war have an immediate and reckless intensity.

Mary Borden is featured in several major anthologies of First World War poetry, but this is the first full book of her poems to be published, 100 years after they were written. Many of these poems are published in book form for the first time, including the love poems.

Borden’s memoir, The Forbidden Zone (1929) is one of the most compelling accounts of Front Line service in the war.

The book was launched at the Wimbledon Book Festival on 11 October 2015, by Shirley Williams and Paul O’Prey.

Borden front cover for NIELSEN