David Constantine Reading at Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival

Constantine’s peculiar vision is an uneasy blend of the exquisite and the everyday…the beatific, the ordinary, the rebarbative even, are almost indistinguishable… Overwhelmingly the poems are intelligent and well-turned, setting out the tensions between innocence and experience with fine control.
— Elizabeth Lowry, Times Literary Supplement.

All of Cornwall, slipped from his lease
Towards home,
the sea making a din, the cypresses overwhelming
— 'Local Historian', David Constantine (2004)

David Constantine’s poetry is noted for its “emotional range, its mastery of formal and linguistic variety, its lyrical intensity and disarming confessional intimacy”, and draws from influences of Dante, Homer, Blake and Yeats. David is a translator and scholar as well, and his translations of European poets and playwrights have won him high praise and literary prizes both at home and abroad.

Along with his notable collections of poetry, including Collected Poems (2004) and Elder (2004), he is also a novelist and award-winning short story writer, with his story “Tea at the Midland” considered a classic of the genre.

Born in Salford, David Constantine has sustained a strong creative relationship with Cornwall for many years. We were fortunate to hear him deliver a reading of a series of poems from across his career recently at the Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival.

by Danielle Barrios-O'Neill