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Old News Items


This page contains a selection of items that formerly appeared on this site's current news page but are no longer current. They are preserved on this page for visitors who may find them of interest.

Announcements of new books
Discover for Life at the National Theatre (2009)
A reading at the British Library, 28 September 2005
"Rereading Auden" on BBC Radio 3 (1998)
First book publication of translations by Auden (1998)
Auden and the Pennines on BBC Radio 4 (1999)
A new selection of Auden's recorded readings (1999)
A visit to Alston Moor (1999)
Auden at the Ledbury Poetry Festival (1999)
Auden at the Malvern Festival (1999)
An exhibition on Auden's Pennine landscapes (1999)
A BBC Television film about Auden (2000)
A celebration of Auden and music at Gresham's School (2000)
"In the Footsteps of W. H. Auden" at the Downs School, Ledbury Festival (2000)
A series of essays by James Fenton (200)
A session on Auden and music at the MLA convention (2000)
An exhibition on Auden's Pennine Landscapes (2001)
A Yorkshire TV broadcast on Auden in the Pennines (2001)
A celebration of Auden at Cooper Union in New York City (2002)
A BBC broadcast on "Auden's Eden" (2002)
Auden's Oxford Book of Light Verse reprinted
Auden's Juvenilia in an expanded edition
Night Mail documentary film available on DVD
A lost early poem reappears at an auction
A tour of Auden's Pennine landscapes in May 2004
Auden's second book of poems reissued
Donald Mitchell's Britten and Auden in the Thirties reissued
Auden's lectures on Shakespeare reconstructed
Auden and Kallman's translation of Arcifanfaro published
An unpublished Auden draft and a chapter by Spender


Announcements of new books

Listed alphabetically by author:

Pascal Aquien. W. H. Auden: de l'Eden perdu au jardin des mots. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1996; ISBN 2-7384-4683-3. (Order online through Amazon France.)

Cicero Bruce. W. H. Auden's Moral Imagination. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998; ISBN 0-7734-2237-4. (Order from Amazon.com.)

Marsha Bryant. Auden and Documentary in the 1930s. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997; ISBN 0-8139-1756-5. (Order from Amazon.com.)

Carmen Dell'Aversano. The Silent Passage: Itinerario poetico di W. H. Auden. Pisa: Edizioni Ets, 1998; ISBN 88-467-0116-X. (Order from Internet Bookshop Italia.)

Rainer Emig. W. H. Auden: Towards a Postmodern Poetics. London: Macmillan, December 1999; ISBN 0-333-74557-4. (Order from Amazon.com.)

John Fuller. W. H. Auden: A Commentary. London: Faber & Faber, 1998; ISBN 0-571-19268-8. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998. (Completely rewritten and greatly expanded from the same author's A Reader's Guide to W. H. Auden. Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.)

Harriet Hall. Bill and Patience. Lewes, Sussex: The Book Guild, 2000; ISBN 1 85776 408 0. A biography of the author's parents, with extensive quotations from letters from Auden to Bill and Patience McElwee, whom he met at Oxford. (Order from Amazon UK.)

The Poetry of W. H. Auden: a reader's guide to essential criticism, edited by Paul Hendon. Cambridge: Icon Books, April 2000; ISBN 1-84046-0466. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Order from Amazon UK or Amazon.com.)

Hans Werner Henze. Bohemian Fifths: An Autobiography. London: Faber & Faber, 1998; ISBN 0-571-17815-4. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999; ISBN 0-691-00683-0. Includes many details about Henze's collaborations with Auden and Kallman. (Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.) The original German edition, Reiselieder mit böhmischen Quinten: autobiographische Mitteilungen 1926-1995 (Frankfurt a/M: S. Fischer, 1996), may be ordered from Amazon.de in Germany.

David Garrett Izzo. Aldous Huxley & W.H. Auden: On Language. West Cornwall, Conn.: Locust Hill Press, 1998; ISBN 0-933951-80-9.

Alan Jacobs. What Became of Wystan: Change and Continuity in Auden's Poetry. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, July 1998; ISBN 1-55728-503-9. (Order from Amazon.com.)

Arthur Kirsch. Auden and Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, October 2005. ISBN 0-300-10814-1 (Order from Amazon.com.)

Edward Mendelson. Early Auden. New York: Farrar, Staus, & Giroux, 2000; London: Faber & Faber, 1999. (Revised paperback reprint of book first published in 1981; order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.)

Edward Mendelson. Later Auden. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, April 1999; London: Faber & Faber, 1999. (Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.) Paperback reprint: New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000. (Order from Amazon.com.)

W. H. Auden: Pennine Poet. Nenthead: North Pennines Heritage Trust, June 1999. A 60-page booklet containing two papers: "W. H. Auden in the North" by Alan Myers, and "Auden's Pennine Names" by Robert Forsythe. Copies may be ordered for £3.50 through Hope Alderson, North Pennines Heritage Trust, Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre, Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3PD, UK; phone (+44) 01434 382037.

Norman Page. Auden and Isherwood: The Berlin Years. London: Macmillan, October 1998; paperback, March 2002; ISBN 0-312-22712-4. New York: St. Martin's Press, October 1998; paperback, March 2000; ISBN 0-333-80399-X. (Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.)

Stan Smith. W. H. Auden. Plymouth: Northcote House, in association with the British Council, 1997 (Writers and Their Work); ISBN 0-7463-0736-5. Distributed in the U.S. by the University Press of Mississippi. (Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.)

Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb. Regions of Sorrow: Anxiety and Messianism in Hannah Arendt and W. H. Auden. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003; ISBN 0-8047-4511-0. (Order from Amazon.com.) 

David Garrett Izzo. W. H. Auden Encyclopedia. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishers, 2003; ISBN 0-7864-1443-X. (Order from Amazon.com.) 

Stephen E. Tabachnick. Fiercer than Tigers: The Life and Works of Rex Warner. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2002; ISBN 0-87013-522-x. The first biography of Warner, who was a close friend of Auden during his years at Oxford and the early 1930s; includes an account of their relations. (Order from Amazon.com.)

Peter Edgerly Firchow. W. H. Auden: Contexts for Poetry. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2002; ISBN 0-87413-766-7. (Order from Amazon.com.)

W. H. Auden: A Legacy, ed. by David Garrett Izzo. West Cornwall, CT: Locust Hill Press, 2002; ISBN 0-93395-194-9. (A collection of twenty-six essays on Auden, mostly written for this volume. Order from Amazon.com.)

Richard Bozorth. Auden's Games of Knowledge: Poetry and the Meanings of Homosexuality. New York: Columbia University Press, August 2001; ISBN 0-231-11352-8. (Order from Amazon.com in cloth or paper editions.)

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Discover for Life at the National Theatre, London (2009)

In connection with the opening of Alan Bennett's play, The Habit of Art, Discover for Life presents “Auden: a Series of Encounters.” Throughout December a group of 50 people will meet once a week at the National and at other venues to learn about aspects of Auden's life and work. The sessions, led by experts, will provide insights into Auden's poetry, his collaborations, and his contemporaries. The season will culminate in seeing a performance of the play in the National's Lyttelton Theatre. Tickets are available from the NT Box Office (020 7452 3000) at 35 each. You must be available to attend all of the afternoon sessions on 1, 8 and 15 December, and the evening performance on 22 December.

  1. 1 December - National Theatre, London - Led by poets Hamish Robinson and Glyn Maxwell
  2. 8 December - Christ Church, Oxford - Led by Dr Paul Kent
  3. 15 December - National Theatre, London - Led by Matthew Scott
  4. 22 December - Lyttelton Theatre, NT - Evening performance of The Habit of Art followed by a post show event with the actors.

A reading at the British Library, 28 September 2005

The novelist Jospehine Hart presented an evening of Auden's poetry at the British Library on Wednesday 28 September 2005. Actor Dominic West and others will read. Tickets 7.50/5 concessions. Box Office 0207 412 7222.

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"Rereading Auden" on BBC Radio 3 (1998)

During the week of 28 September 1998, BBC Radio 3 broadcast "Rereading Auden," five brief talks in the "Postscripts" series. The speakers were Katherine Bucknell, Peter Scupham, George Szirtes, Edward Mendelson, and Ian Sansom, with Auden's poems read by actors. The broadcasts were repeated during the week of 29 March 1999.

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First book publication of translations by Auden (1998)

Thirteen translations by Auden and Branko Brusar of poems for children by Middle-European poets were published late in 1998 in a limited edition. The book, titled Poems in a Child's Eyes, has been printed in an edition of 130 copies in bound in handmade paper wrappers (100 of these are for sale at $125), and 26 copies bound in cloth in a slipcase (for sale at $300). Eleven of these poems appeared in the Yugoslavian magazine The Bridge in the early 1970s; the remaining two are published here for the first time. The book includes an introduction by Robert A. Wilson.

Orders may be sent to NADJA, 300 Cooper Street, Accord, New York, 12404; or call Carol Sturm at +1 914 687-0734.

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Auden and the Pennines on BBC Radio 4 (1999)

"The Reservoir of Darkness," a half-hour BBC Radio 4 broadcast by Sean O'Brien on Auden's relationship with the North Pennines, was transmitted Sunday, 2 May 1999, at 4.30 p.m, in the Open Book programme. The broadcast, which also included contributions by Katherine Bucknell and Robert Forsythe, was partly recorded at Leadgate and the Rotherhope Mine near Alston, Rampgill Mine at Nenthead, and the old mine/railway yard at Rookhope, places referred to in Auden's poems "Not In Baedeker," "New Year Letter," and "In Praise of Limestone."

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A new selection of Auden's recorded readings (1999)

Voice of the Poet: W. H. Auden, a selection of recorded readings made by Auden over many years, and edited by J. D. McClatchy, was issued by Random House Audio Books in the spring of 1999. The tape cassette may be ordered from Amazon.com. Auden's reading of "As I Walked out One Evening" may be heard on the Amazon.com page about the cassette.

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A visit to Alston Moor (1999)

On Saturday, 12 June 1999, Robert Forsythe, in conjunction with the North Pennines Heritage Trust, led a study day starting 10.30 a.m. at Nenthead Mines car park, Nenthead, Cumbria, ending around 4.30pm.

The day included visits to Nenthead Mine: Rampgill Mine Mouth and Smelt Mills ("The Watershed" and The Enemies of a Bishop); Carrshield Mine (over the Nent/Allen watershed, as described in "The Watershed"); Alston Shot Tower ("Not In Baedeker"); Hartside (The Dog beneath the Skin, New Year Letter, and The Age of Anxiety); Garrigill/(Natrass) (Paid on Both Sides); (Cauldron Snout) New Year Letter. (Places named in parentheses were to be visited if time allowed. Allenheads, Rookhope, and Blanchland will be put off for another year.) Robert Forsythe is engaged in research (summarized on his web site) on the pervasive presence of the Pennines in Auden's poems, plays, and prose.

Information about the tour is available from Hope Alderson, North Pennines Heritage Trust, Nenthead Mines, Alston, Cumbria, UK CA9 3PD; tel. (+44)(0)1434 382037.

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Auden at the Ledbury Poetry Festival (1999)

At the Ledbury Poetry Festival in Herefordshire, UK, 27 June - 11 July 1999, a programme of Auden's poems and Britten's settings was performed on 30 June, at 8 p.m., at St Michael's Church, Ledbury, with James Roose-Evans reading the poems, backed by the City of Birmingham Orchestra Youth Chorus. (Ledbury, incidentally, was where Auden married Erika Mann in 1935.)

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Auden at the Malvern Festival (1999)

On 10 October 1999 the Malvern Festival presented two events about Auden at the Downs School, Colwall, where Auden taught in the mid-1930s:

At 3 p.m, "An Audenary Afternoon," with Gabriel Woolf as writer and presenter, Kaperiana Fenech, (mezzo-soprano), and John Wilson (piano). This is a biographical narrative of Auden, interspersed with poems and the Cabaret Songs by Benjamin Britten based on Auden texts. Admission (unreserved), £6.50.

At 7:30 p.m., Humphrey Carpenter spoke on Auden and Britten, followed by a showing of Coal Face and Night Mail, two films made by the GPO Film Unit in 1935-36 while Auden was teaching at the Downs School. Admission (unreserved), £5.50.

Both events took place in the Downs School Hall, Colwall, Malvern, Worcestershire. Details from the Box Office, Malvern Theatres, +44 (0)1684 892277; Grange Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3HB.

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An exhibition on Auden's Pennine Landscapes (1999)

An exhibition on "Auden's Pennine Landscapes" opened officially on 10 August 1999 in Nenthead, Cumbria, in the Barrack Block at Nenthead Mines, a building Auden almost certainly knew. The exhibit remained open until the end of October and will be available for travel thereafter. It features Auden's poetry and new photography from Colin Dixon. It has been researched by Robert Forsythe and designed by Howard Dixon. Further details from Hope Alderson, or telephone (+44) 01434 382037. (This exhibit reopened from 23 March through 31 October 2002.)

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A BBC Television film about Auden (2000)

"Tell Me the Truth About Love," a BBC Television film about Auden, was broadcast as part of the ArtZone series on BBC2, Sunday, 26 March 2000, at 8 pm GMT.

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A celebration of Auden and music at Gresham's School (2000)

Gresham's School, Holt, held a celebration of Auden and music in May 2000. Further details will be posted on this site as they become available.

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"In the Footsteps of W. H. Auden" at the Downs School, Ledbury Festival (2000)

A guided walk, by the writer and lecturer Linda Hart, from the Downs School, Colwall, along the Malvern Hills ridge, with poems and biography en route, Saturday 8 July 2000, 9.30 am - 12.45 pm.

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A series of essays by James Fenton (2000)

A series of three essays on Auden by James Fenton appeared in recent issues of the New York Review of Books. The first in the series, "Auden's Shakespeare", appears in the issue dated 23 March 2000. The second, "Auden's Enchantment", appears in the issue dated 13 April 2000. The third, "Auden at Home", appears in the issue dated 27 April 2000. All three essays, in slightly different form, are now available in Fenton's book The Strength Of Poetry (London: Oxford; New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001) (order from Amazon.com or from Amazon UK).

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A session on Auden and music at the MLA convention (2000)

"W. H. Auden's Musical Collaborations" was the subject of a session at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association in Washington on 29 December 2000. Nadia Herman Colburn, Richard Bozorth and Paola Marchetti-Rognoni delivered papers.

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An exhibition on Auden's Pennine Landscapes (2001)

An exhibition on "Auden's Pennine Landscapes," originally displayed in 1999, was again on display at The Discovery Centre, Bishop Auckland (in Weardale), 1 -24 February 2001. On 20 February at 7 pm, Robert Forsythe, who researched the exhibition, gave a one-hour introduction to it and to Auden's North Pennine connections. The exhibit featured Auden's poetry and new photography from Colin Dixon.

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A Yorkshire TV broadcast on Auden in the Pennines (2001)

A brief "Dales Diary" feature on W. H. Auden around Keld, in the Pennines, was broadcast on 28 June 2001 on Tyne Tees TV and on 3 July 2001 on Yorkshire TV. The filming took place at the Auden-related places Keld, Old Gang/Surrender, Punchard and Tan Hill Inn. The segment lasted about seven minutes.

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A celebration of Auden at Cooper Union in New York City (2002)

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City presented a program in the CooperArts Series titled "Celebrating W. H. Auden" on 21 March 2002 at 7:30 p.m. in The Great Hall at Cooper Union. The guest speaker was James Fenton. A musical setting by Charles Wuorinen of the third part of Auden's "Anthem for St. Cecilia's Day" was commissioned for the event.

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A BBC broadcast on "Auden's Eden" (2002)

BBC Radio 4 presented a half-hour feature, "Auden's Eden," about Auden's favorite Pennine landscapes in the North of England. The feature was broadcast on Sunday, 24 March 2002, 16.30 GMT, and was repeated on Saturday, 30 March 2002, 23.30 GMT. The programme was described as "a journey to the heart of the poet's Eden, the 'original chasm' at the desolate and deserted Rookhope lead mine. To Auden, Britain's leading 20th century poet, this location was as formative as the Lake District was to Wordsworth."  The programme was archived for 14 days only on  the BBC's Religion and Ethics site.


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Auden's Oxford Book of Light Verse reprinted

The Oxford Book of Light Verse, edited by Auden and originally published in 1938, was reprinted in paperback by New York Review Books in August 2004, with a new preface by Edward Mendelson. The edition reproduces the first impression of the original book, with some verses removed from later printings because of obscenities. The new edition may be ordered from Amazon.com.

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Auden's Juvenilia in an expanded edition

Katherine Bucknell's 1994 edition of Auden's Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928, has been reprinted in a corrected and expanded edition with twelve poems discovered in a notebook a few years ago. The new edition is published in paperback by Princeton University Press, February 2003, and may be ordered from Amazon.com.

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Night Mail documentary film available on DVD

The 1936 documentary film Night Mail, with its famous verse narration by Auden and music by Benjamin Britten, is now available on a DVD disk from Panamint Cinema. The DVD is a "Region zero" disc, which means it can be viewed on players and computers anywhere in the world; however, it uses the PAL television format, and may not play on some North American DVD players, especially very inexpensive ones. The disk should, however, play correctly on any computer equipped with a DVD drive and DVD-player software. The reproduction of the film is far better than any earlier reissue on video cassette. 

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A lost early poem reappears at an auction

A six-page manuscript of early group of short poems by Auden titled "Case-Histories" was sold at auction by Phillips in London on 15 June 2001. Auden had submitted the twenty-three poems in the manuscript to The Adelphi magazine in 1931, but the editors accepted only four. Some of the other poems in the group appeared in later publications, and others survive in a manuscript notebook now in the British Library and in a typescript also titled "Case-Histories" that Auden sent to Christopher Isherwood. However, the exact configuration of the poem Auden submitted to The Adelphi was previously unknown.

The manuscript was bought by an anonymous American collector for £14,950, and has again disappeared from view, but the full text can be reconstructed from the accessible surviving manuscripts and will be published in the future. A report on the manuscript appeared in The Independent, followed by a report on the sale.

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A tour of Auden's Pennine landscapes in May 2004

May 2004 will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Auden's travelogue article for American Vogue, "England: Six Unexpected Days." Probably no one has undertaken Auden's itinerary from London to Edinburgh past many of his favourite Pennine locations. Robert Forsythe is willing to lead a tour of the route at the anniversary if a moderate number of folk wish to do so (reaching double figures). Further proposals in some detail are at Robert Forsythe's web site.

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Auden's second book of poems reissued

Look, Stranger! (1936), Auden's second published collection of poems (published in the US as On this Island) was reissued by its original publisher, Faber & Faber, in April 2001. (Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK. Note that the links on both sites may misleading report the title of the book as Poems, 1930; Faber decided to reprint a different volume after first announcing the reprint).

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Donald Mitchell's Britten and Auden in the Thirties reissued

Donald Mitchell's Britten and Auden in the Thirties: The Year 1936, a major study of the collaboration and friendship between W. H. Auden and Benjamin Britten, first published in 1981, was reissued in paperback by the Boydell Press in 2000. Members of the W. H. Auden Society may buy the book at 25% off the US$19.95 or £12.99 list price by writing to Boydell & Brewer, PO Box 41026, Rochester NY 14604 (1-716-275-0419, fax 1-716-271-8778), e-mail to 104572.1422@compuserve.com. The book may also be ordered at the normal price from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.

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Auden's lectures on Shakespeare reconstructed

Auden's lecture course on Shakespeare at the New School for Social Research in 1946-47 has been reconstructed by Arthur Kirsch from classroom notes taken by Alan Ansen and others. Lectures on Shakespeare has been published in the US by Princeton University Press, and in the UK by Faber & Faber, in January 2001. (Order from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.) Two noteworthy reviews are those by Frank Kermode in the London Review of Books, 22 February 2001, and by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post (fee charged for full article), 21 January 2001.

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Auden and Kallman's translation of Arcifanfaro published

The translation by Auden and Chester Kallman of an opera libretto by Carlo Goldoni, Arcifanfaro, King of Fools, or, It's Always Too Late to Learn, has been published in full for the first time in a special issue of the little magazine Unmuzzled Ox, with an introduction by the magazine's editor, Michael Andre. The magazine is available from the publishers, Unmuzzled Ox, 105 Hudson Street, New York NY 10013, or may be ordered from Amazon.com.)

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An unpublished Auden draft and a chapter by Spender

The Winter 2000 number of Oxford Poetry includes Auden's unpublished 81-line draft of "The Sphinx" with an introduction by John Fuller and a chapter from Stephen Spender's 1928 novel Instead of Death in which Auden is one of the main characters. Unpublished work by Louis MacNeice is also included. The magazine's web site includes a beautifully-designed index to the the ninety-year history of the magazine, which was twice edited by Auden.

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