(Alfred Alvarez)ălvär´ĕz, ăl´vərĕz˝ [key]
, 1929–2019, English writer, critic, and poet. He was a theater critic, a writer for the British Broadcasting Corp., a poetry editor and critic, and a visiting professor at numerous universities. As a critic and editor, he championed the work of young poets, particularly his friends Sylvia Plath
and Ted Hughes
, and his anthology The New Poetry
(1962, rev. ed. 1966) brought the verse of Plath, Hughes, John Berryman
, Robert Lowell
, Anne Sexton
, and others to a large British audience. His writing, characterized by a vigorous style, includes his Poems
(1978) and Selected Poems, 1953–1976
(1978) and the novels Hunt
(1979) and Day of Atonement
(1991). A passionate poker player, he wrote The Biggest Game in Town
(1983) and Poker: Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats
(2001). Among his critical works are Beyond All This Fiddle: Essays 1955–67
(1968) and Samuel Beckett
(1973). Many of his books, especially the later ones, had personal themes, e.g., The Savage God
(1972), a meditation on suicide, Feeding the Rat
(1989), about rock climbing, and Night
(1995), a multifaceted study of nighttime.
See his memoir, Where Did It All Go Right? (1999).
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