John Greening

Born in Chiswick in 1954, John Greening has lived in Upper Egypt, New Jersey, Mannheim, Arbroath but chiefly in Huntingdonshire, where he teaches. He has published more than a dozen collections (including Hunts, Poems 1979-2009 and To the War Poets (OxfordPoets, 2013)) and several critical studies – of Yeats, Ted Hughes, Hardy, Edward Thomas, First World War Poets and the Elizabethans. His most recent book is a guide to the art: Poetry Masterclass. A regular reviewer with the TLS and a judge for the Eric Gregory Awards, Greening has received the Bridport Prize, the TLS Centenary Prize and a Cholmondeley Award for his poetry. His collection Knot was published by Worple in 2013.

John Greening readings and events

Further details at John Greening’s website, which is archived by the Bodleian Library:

From reviews of John Greening’s work:

‘A poet thinking aloud, moving ruminatively among associated ideas… You don’t need to be a privileged reader to make sense of Hunts; as with an unfolding novel, details of how places (and people) relate to each other steadily evolve into a sort of mental map, and it doesn’t matter whether or not this matches the ’real’ one. These are poems which, although they may sometimes take a bit of untangling, do eventually disclose what they’re about.’  Neil Powell, PN Review, on Hunts, Poems 1979-2009

Hunts is not about reverential approaches but passionate assays, broad and deep searches, in which the elusive quarry is less important than the chase. And there is patience at work here too, an often meticulous craft worthy of painstaking archaeology. Hunts will reward both approaches in a reader – there are treasures here.’ James Brookes, Horizon Review, on Hunts, Poems 1979-2009

‘Since the end of the 1970s, John Greening has steadily established himself a significant presence in contemporary English poetry… Beyond the admirable craftsmanship that characterises almost all of his work, one of Greening’s great strengths is his historical imagination… Greening’s major sequences are splendid examples of the poetry of place, extended reflections upon the individual’s place in his community, upon place as the creator (and creation) of individuals, full of specifics, but never merely parochial… There is much here to enjoy and admire in the work of a serious (but never excessively solemn) poet, who cares about both ‘facts’ and ideas and makes his poetry out of the interpenetration of the two.’  Glyn Pursglove, Acumen

‘It is the particularity of the detail which makes these poems a triumph’.  William Bedford, Warwick Review

‘Wonderfully and cumulatively evocative’  Neil Powell, TLS