Gavin Bantock

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Gavin Bantock (born July 4, 1939) is an English poet; he is the grandson of Granville Bantock.[1] He was born in Barnt Green, and attended New College, Oxford, where he won the Richard Hillary prize for poetry.[2][3] He traveled to Japan in 1964 on the advice of his father, Raymond, and returned five years later to teach at Reitaku University.[1] He has remained in the country ever since. Initially teaching English language and literature at Reitaku, he began also leading a group of students in productions of English plays, which eventually became his primary career. After retiring from Reitaku in 1994, he became the drama coach at Meitoku Gijuku High School in Kochi.[1]

Many of Bantock's poems treat elements of Christianity, history, mythology, or medieval and Renaissance literature in arresting, often disturbing terms. His book-length poem "Christ," first published in 1965 and issued in a revised edition in 2020, is skeptical of "any idea of an innate and preordained divinity in an incarnate Christ," according to Adrian A. Husain's introduction to the revised edition.[4] His poems "Joy" and "Dirge" were included by Philip Larkin in The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse.[5] John Matthias included excerpts from Bantock's "Hiroshima," which Matthias calls "terrifying," in the collection 23 Modern British Poets.[3]

Selected books[edit]

  • Christ: A Poem in Twenty-Six Parts. Oxford: D. Parsons, 1965. OCLC 8818320
  • Juggernaut. Northwood: Anvil Press Poetry, 1968. OCLC 42302
  • A New Thing Breathing. Northwood: Anvil Press Poetry, 1969. ISBN 0900977086
  • Anhaga. London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1972. ISBN 0900977345
  • Eirenikon: A Poem. London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1972. ISBN 0900977876
  • Isles. Feltham: Quarto Press, 1974. ISBN 9780901105103
  • Dragons. London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1979. ISBN 9780856460494
  • Just Think of It. London: Anvil Press Poetry, 2002. ISBN 9780856463167
  • SeaManShip. Manchester: Carcanet, 2003. ISBN 9780856463587
  • Christos, Lovesong of the Son of Man: A Poem in Twenty-Six Parts. (Revision of 1965 work) First Servant Books, 2020.ISBN 9798685521552
  • Hail, Salubrious Spot! (How's Your Rupture): Memories of a Worcestershire Village. First Servant Books, 2020. ISBN 9798687038935
  • Thys Felyship: Oxford Days Around 1960, A Memoir. First Servant Books, 2021 ISBN 9798749099270


  1. ^ a b c Corkill, Edan (June 26, 2012). "British drama coach Gavin Bantock at top of his game; casts take a bow". Japan Times. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Gavin Bantock". Carcanet Press. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b Matthias, John (November 20, 2019). "Some Longer Poems About World War II". Dispatches from the Poetry Wars. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  4. ^ Bantock, Gavin (2020). Christos: Lovesong of the Son of Man. Buckhorn Weston: Brimstone Press. p. xi. ISBN 9798685521552.
  5. ^ Larkin, Philip, ed. (1973). The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 621. ISBN 0198121377.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)