Nicholas Moore Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Moore

Nicholas Moore
Born(1918-11-16)16 November 1918
Cambridge, England
Died26 January 1986(1986-01-26) (aged 67)
St Mary Cray, Kent, England
Pen nameGuy Kelly (1945), Romeo Anschilo (1968)
OccupationPoet, publisher
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Literary movementNew Apocalyptics
Notable awardsHarriet Monroe Memorial Prize, Contemporary Poetry's Patron Prize
SpousePriscilla Craig (1940–1948)
Shirley Putnam (1953– )
ChildrenJuliet Moore, Peregrine Moore.
RelativesG. E. Moore (father), Dorothy Ely (mother), Timothy Moore (brother), Thomas Sturge Moore (uncle), George Herbert Ely (grandfather)

Nicholas Moore (16 November 1918 – 26 January 1986) was an English poet, associated with the New Apocalyptics in the 1940s, whose reputation stood as high as Dylan Thomas’s. He later dropped out of the literary world.[1][2][3]


Moore was born in Cambridge, England, the elder child of the philosopher G. E. Moore and Dorothy Ely.[4][5] His paternal uncle was the poet, artist and critic Thomas Sturge Moore, his maternal grandfather was OUP editor and author George Herbert Ely[6] and his brother was the composer Timothy Moore (1922–2003).[7]

He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Leighton Park School in Reading, the University of St Andrews, and Trinity College, Cambridge. Moore was editor and co-founder of a literary review, Seven (1938–40), while still an undergraduate. Seven, Magazine of People's Writing, had a complex later history: Moore edited it with John Goodland; it later appeared edited by Gordon Cruikshank, and then by Sydney D. Tremayne, after Randall Swingler bought it in 1941 from Philip O'Connor.[8]

While in Cambridge Moore became closely involved with literary London, in particular Tambimuttu. He published pamphlets under the Poetry London imprint in 1941 (of George Scurfield, G. S. Fraser, Anne Ridler and his own work). This led to Moore becoming Tambimuttu's assistant. Moore later worked for the Grey Walls Press.[8] In the meantime he had registered as a conscientious objector.[9]

The Glass Tower, a selected poems collection from 1944, appeared with illustrations by the young Lucian Freud. In 1945 he edited The PL Book of Modern American Short Stories, and won Contemporary Poetry's Patron Prize (judged that year by W. H. Auden) for Girl with a Wine Glass. In 1947 he won the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize for Girls and Birds and various other poems.[10][11]

Later Moore encountered difficulty in publishing; he was in the unusual position for a British poet of having a higher reputation in the United States. His association with the "romantics" of the 1940s was, in fact, rather an inaccurate reflection of his style.[12]

In the 1950s he worked as a horticulturist, writing a book The Tall Bearded Iris (1956). In 1968 he entered 31 separate pseudonymous translations of a single Baudelaire poem, in a competition for the Sunday Times, run by George Steiner.[9] Each translation focused on a different element of the poem: rhyme, pattern, tropes, symbolism, etc. producing vastly different results, to illustrate the inadequacies and lacunae produced in translation.[13] This work was published in 1973 as Spleen;[14] it is also available online.[2][10]

Longings of the Acrobats, a selected poems volume, was edited by Peter Riley and published in 1990 by Carcanet Press. An interview with Riley concerning Moore's rediscovery and later years appears as a documentary element within the "Guilty River" chapter of Iain Sinclair's novel Downriver. According to Riley, Moore was extremely prolific and left behind many unpublished poems. An example of one of Moore's "pomenvylopes" – idiosyncratic documents consisting of poems and comments typed onto envelopes and posted to friends and acquaintances – appears online at The Fortnightly Review.[2][12]

His Selected Poems was published by Shoestring Press in 2014.[3]


  • A Book for Priscilla (1941)
  • A Wish in Season (1941)
  • The Island and the Cattle (1941)
  • Buzzing Around with a Bee, and Other Poems, etc (1941)
  • The Cabaret, the Dancer, the Gentlemen (1942)
  • The Glass Tower (1944)
  • Thirty-Five Anonymous Odes (published anonymously, 1944)
  • The War of the Little Jersey Cows (published under the pseudonym "Guy Kelly", 1945)
  • The Anonymous Elegies and other poems (published anonymously, 1945)
  • Recollections of the Gala: Selected Poems 1943–48 (1950)
  • The Tall Bearded Iris (1956)
  • Anxious To Please (1968) (published under the pseudonym (anagram) "Romeo Anschilo", 1995 by Oasis Books)
  • Identity (1969)
  • Resolution and Identity (1970)
  • Spleen (1973)
  • Lacrimae Rerum (1988)
  • Longings of the Acrobats: Selected Poems (1990)
  • Dronkhois Malperhu and Other Poems (1996)[15]
  • The Orange Bed (2011)[16]
  • Selected Poems (2014)[17][18]


  1. ^ Ousby, Ian (1996). The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 267. ISBN 0-521-436273.
  2. ^ a b c Sorrell, Martin (25 January 2012). "On Nicholas Moore". The Fortnightly Review. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Nicholas Moore". Poetry Foundation. Chicago, IL. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  4. ^ "The Papers of George Edward Moore (1873–1958) Philosopher". The National Archives. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Nicholas Moore (British poet)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Father in law G. H. ("Gaffer") Ely and his wife Margaret". George Edward Moore: Personal Papers and Correspondence. Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  7. ^ Marshal, Nicholas (10 March 2003). "Obituaries: Timothy Moore – Composer and eccentric, his influences included madrigals and jazz". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b Moore, Nicholas. "Nicholas Moore Collection". University of Reading. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b Ford, Mark (2008). "Nicholas Moore, Stevens and the Fortune Press". In Eeckhout, B.; Ragg, E. (eds.). Wallace Stevens across the Atlantic. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 165–185. doi:10.1057/9780230583849_12. ISBN 978-1-349-35850-2.
  10. ^ a b "Ubu Editions: Nicholas Moore — Spleen, 31 Translations of Je suis commme le roi". Moore. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  11. ^ Tolley, A. Trevor (1985). The Poetry of the Forties. Manchester University Press. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9780719017087. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  12. ^ a b Sinclair, Ian (2004). Downriver. London: Penguin UK. ISBN 9780-141906157.
  13. ^ Lloyd, Rosemary (2002). Baudelaire's World. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4026-7.
  14. ^ Moore, Nicholas (1973). Spleen: thirty-one versions of Baudelaire's Je suis comme le roi. London: The Menard Press/The Blacksuede Boot Press. ISBN 978-0951375303.
  15. ^ Moore, Nicholas (1996). Dronkhois Malperhu and Other Poems. Bournemouth: Writers Forum. ISBN 9780861626595.
  16. ^ Moore, Nicholas (2011). Peter Riley (ed.). The Orange Bed (PDF). Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  17. ^ Moore, Nicholas (2014). Lucas, John; Welton, Matthew (eds.). Selected poems. Beeston, UK: Shoestring Press. p. 250. ISBN 9781910323182.
  18. ^ Milne, Drew. "A Neo-Modernist Chameleon". Poetry London. Retrieved 9 November 2015.

Further reading[edit]

Francis Nenik: The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping. Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire, Readux Books 2013, Sample.

External links[edit]