Al Alvarez

Poet, Critic and Broadcaster

Black and white image of a man in a street, looking at the camera Al Alvarez, by Dmitri Kasterine, 2009, based on a work of 1974, NPG P1319, © Dmitri Kasterine

Poet, critic and broadcaster. While poetry editor of The Observer (1956-66), Alvarez introduced new writers to British audiences, as did his 1962 anthology The New Poetry. Known for non-fiction titles including The Savage God (1972), Alvarez was awarded the A.C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature (2010).


His face was blue, on his fingers
Flecks of green. ‘This is my father,’
I thought.

From ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ in The Savage God (London: Penguin, 1974)


Weaving your intricate steps across
The intricate carpet ...

From ‘Anne Dancing’ in New and Selected Poems (Chipping Norton: The Waywiser Press, 2002)