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Moore was born in Cambridge, England; his father was the philosopher G. E. Moore. He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Leighton Park School in Reading, the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and Trinity College in Cambridge. Moore published 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 Sydney D. Tremayne, after Randall Swingler bought it in 1941 from Philip O'Connor.)
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.
The Glass Tower, a selected poems collection from 1944, appeared with illustrations by Lucian Freud. Later Moore encountered difficulty publishing; he was in the unusual position for a British poet of having a higher reputation in the USA. His association with the "romantics" of the 1940s was, in fact, rather an inaccurate reflection of his style.
In the 1950s he worked as a gardener, 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. This work was eventually published, as Spleen; it is also available online.
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 According to Riley, Moore was extremely prolific and left behind many unpublished poems.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.
- A Wish in Season (1941)
- The Island and the Cattle (1941)
- A Book for Priscilla (1941)
- Buzzing around with a Bee (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)
Francis Nenik: The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping. Translated from German by Katy Derbyshire, Readux Books 2013, Sample.
- "Nicholas Moore (British poet)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Ubu Editions: Nicholas Moore — Spleen, 31 Translations of Je suis commme le roi". Moore. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- Martin Sorrell on Nicholas Moore and his "pomenvylopes", The Fortnightly Review.
- Spleen: Thirty-one versions of Baudelaire's Je suis comme le roi... by Nicholas Moore was first published in book form as Spleen 1973 by Blacksuede Boot Press and Menard Press.
- "A Pomenvylope by Nicholas Moore", an essay with an example, by Martin Sorrell in The Fortnightly Review.