David Constantine

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For the filmmaker, see David Constantin.

David John Constantine (born 1944) is a British, Lancashire born poet,[1] author and translator.[2]


Constantine read Modern Languages at Wadham College, Oxford and was a Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford until 2000, when he became a Supernumerary Fellow.[3] He lectured in German at Durham University from 1969 to 1981 and at Oxford University from 1981 to 2000.[4]

He was the co-editor of the literary journal Modern Poetry in Translation. Along with the Irish poet Bernard O'Donoghue, he is commissioning editor of the Oxford Poets imprint of Carcanet Press and has been a chief judge for the TS Eliot Prize.[5]

His collections of poetry include Madder, Watching for Dolphins, Caspar Hauser, The Pelt of Wasps, Something for the Ghosts, Collected Poems and Nine Fathom Deep. He is a translator of Hölderlin, Brecht, Goethe, Kleist, Michaux and Jaccottet.

In 2015, the film "45 years", based on Constantine's short story "In Another Country" enjoyed critical acclaim and has been tipped for BAFTA success. The film stars Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling.

Constantine is also author of one novel, Davies and Fields of Fire: A Life of Sir William Hamilton. He has published four collections of short stories, Back at the Spike, the highly acclaimed Under the Dam (2005) and The Shieling (2009) and the award winning Tea at the Midland and Other Stories. He lives in Oxford with his wife Helen, and has two children and six grandchildren.

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Watching for the Dolphins (1983)
  • Early Greek Travellers and the Hellenic Ideal (1984)
  • Davies (1985)
  • Selected Poems (1991)
  • Caspar Hauser (1994)
  • The Pelt of Wasps (1998)
  • Something for the Ghosts (2002)
  • Under the Dam (2005)
  • The Shieling (2009)
  • Tea at the Midland and Other Stories (2012)
  • Poetry: The Literary Agenda (2013)


External links[edit]