Anne Rouse

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Anne Barrett Rouse (born September 26, 1954) is an American-British poet.[1][2] Along with Michael Donaghy and Eva Salzman, she has been cited as a noted American-British contributor to contemporary British poetry.[3][4][5][6]


She was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in Virginia and read history at the University of London. Afterwards, she worked as a nurse and as the director of the mental health charity Islington Mind.[7] Now a freelance writer, she has had numerous residencies, including fellowships at the University of Glasgow and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Rouse has been described by the International Poetry Society as an "accomplished and intelligent writer" and by Don Paterson and Charles Simic in their anthology New British Poetry as a poet of "great formal deftness", with a fine gift for social themes incorporated into her poetry.[4][8] Rouse, in her earlier works, often draws upon her experiences as a nurse and mental health worker.[9] Her poems often fuse together the ordinary and the bizarre, often with use of satire and humour.[10]

All four of her collections to date have been published by Bloodaxe Books, including Sunset Grill (1993)[11] and Timing (1997),[9] both of which were Poetry Book Society Recommendations.[12] Poems from Sunset Grill, "Athletic," was published in a book on women and sport, Crossing Boundaries: An International Anthology of Women's Experiences in Sport, and two other poems from this 1993 collection, "Faith Healers" and "Memo to Auden," were published in the anthology New British Poetry in 2004.[4][13] Several of the poems in Timing were written as performances pieces, such as "Spunk Talking," and many of them have been described as being "hymns to the momentary and the marvelously futile: physical love, football, the preoccupations of patients on a dementia ward, fashion, and poetry itself."[9] Her poem "Glass" was published in The Guardian and she has also had work published in The Independent, The Observer, Atlantic Monthly and The Times Literary Supplement.[12]

Rouse has performed her poetry at Arvon Foundation, the South Bank, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and Almeida Theatre.[14][15] In 2004 she recorded her poems "Childminding," "The Anaesthetist," "Sighting," and "Testament" for the British Council.[16]

In 2008, Rouse published a poetry collection, entitled The Upshot: New and Selected Poems. This included the poem sequence "The Divided," which has been described as constructing "a modern meta-physic out of love and the daily, set against the latent (sometimes tragic) divisions in contemporary society."[17]

Personal life[edit]

Rouse was formerly a fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.[12] She currently lives in East Sussex.[18]

Poetry Collections[edit]

  • Sunset Grill (1993)
  • Timing (1997)
  • The School of Night (2004)
  • The Upshot: New and Selected Poems (2008)


  1. ^ "Timing: Anne Rouse". The Richmond Review. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  2. ^ O'Brien, Sean (January 16, 2008). "It's a great time to be a poetry reader". The Guardian. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  3. ^ Roberts, Neil (2003). A Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry. Volume 9 of Blackwell companions to literature and culture, Wiley-Blackwell. p. 571. ISBN 978-1-4051-1361-8.
  4. ^ a b c Paterson, Don; Simic, Charles (2004). New British Poetry. Graywolf Press. p. 174. ISBN 1-55597-394-9.
  5. ^ Day, Gary; Docherty, Brian (1997). British poetry from the 1950s to the 1990s: politics and art, Volume 2. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-53280-5.
  6. ^ Astley, Neil; Robertson-Pearce, Pamela (2008). In person: 30 poets. Bloodaxe Books. ISBN 1-85224-800-9.
  7. ^ "Anne Rouse". Bloodaxe Books. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  8. ^ Orbis, Issues 132–135. International Poetry Society, Hub Publications. 2005. p. 44.
  9. ^ a b c Rouse, Anne (1997). Timing,1977. Bloodaxe Books. ISBN 1-85224-404-6.
  10. ^ Childs, Peter (1999). The twentieth century in poetry: a critical survey. Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 0-415-17101-6.
  11. ^ Astley, Neil (2003). Staying alive: real poems for unreal times. Miramax Books. p. 478. ISBN 1-4013-5926-4.
  12. ^ a b c "Anne Rouse". Royal Literary Fund. Archived from the original on January 29, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  13. ^ Bandy, Susan J.; Darden, Anne S. (1999). Crossing Boundaries: An International Anthology of Women's Experiences in Sport. Human Kinetics. p. 77. ISBN 0-7360-0088-7.
  14. ^ Rouse, Anne (August 23, 2008). "Glass". The Guardian. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  15. ^ "Anne Rouse / Federation of Worker Writers -Milestones Project 2000". The Poetry Society. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  16. ^ "Anne Rouse, From Poetry Quartets: 9 (Bloodaxe Books 2004 1-85224-551-4)". British Council. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  17. ^ Rouse, Anne (2008). The Upshot: New and Selected Poems. Bloodaxe Books. ISBN 1-85224-808-4.
  18. ^ "Anne Rouse". Retrieved December 14, 2010.

External links[edit]