Anne Stevenson is both an American and a British poet. Born in 1933 in Cambridge, England of American parents, she grew up in New England and Michigan. Her father, Charles L. Stevenson, wrote the philosophy classic, Ethics and Language (1944). She studied music, European literature and history at the University of Michigan, returning later to read English and publishing the first critical study of Elizabeth Bishop. After several transatlantic switches, she settled in Britain in 1964, and has since lived in Cambridge, Scotland, Oxford, the Welsh Borders and latterly in North Wales and Durham.
Rooted in close observation of the world and acute psychological insight, her poems continually question how we see and think about the world. They are incisive as well as entertaining, marrying critical rigour with personal feeling, and a sharp wit with an original brand of serious humour.
Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Anne Stevenson at Highgreen Manor, Tarset, Northumberland (next-door to Bloodaxe’s former Tarset office) on 23 February 2008. This film is from the DVD-anthology IN PERSON: 30 POETS, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2008). The poems, in the order of the film, are: ‘Making Poetry’, ‘Poem for a Daughter’, ‘A Marriage’, ‘Arioso Dolente’, ‘The Minister’, ‘Beach Kites’ and ‘Small Philosophical Poem’, all included in her POEMS 1955-2005 (Bloodaxe Books, 2005) apart from ‘Beach Kites’, from STONE MILK (Bloodaxe Books, 2007).