Stephen Spender

1909–1995
Stephen Spender
Sir Stephen Spender was born in London and attended Oxford University, where he became friends with the poet W. H. Auden. Auden convinced Spender that poets should find their material in the everyday world and in seemingly unpoetic things. In his poetry, Spender creates tension between the need to engage this world and a desire to transcend it. After being disillusioned with politics around 1940, his poetry became increasingly introspective.

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2016 ME POL Champion