Meary James Thurairajah Tambimuttu

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Meary James Thurairajah Tambimuttu
Born (1915-08-15)August 15, 1915
Ceylon, Sri Lanka
Died June 23, 1983(1983-06-23) (aged 67)
London, England
Pen name Tambimuttu
Occupation Editor, poet
Nationality British
Period 19381983
Genre Poetry

Meary James Thurairajah Tambimuttu (15 August 1915 – 23 June 1983) was a Tamil poet, editor, critic and publisher.


Tambimuttu was born in Ceylon, and was a university student in Colombo before leaving for London. He arrived in 1938, and a year later he began to publish Poetry London, a small magazine that was to be important in the next decade, in particular during the war years. Tambi, as he was called by his friends, met Lawrence Durrell at this time in connection with the small magazine Durrell published in Paris, Delta (developing from The Booster). He was also involved in poetry and other book publishing. He created two publishing houses, Editions Poetry London and Lyrebird Press, both of which published major works.

While in London, Editions Poetry London published Elizabeth Smart's By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, David Gascoyne Poems 1937-1942, Lawrence Durrell's Cefalu, Henry Miller's The Cosmological Eye and Sunday After the War, Vladimir Nabokov's The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Keith Douglas' Alamein to Zem Zem, and Cleanth Brooks' Modern Poetry and the Tradition.[1] Other poets published in Poetry London are a veritable "who's who" of late modernist poetry.

In later years he worked as an editor in the United States, editing Poetry London - New York. He died in London, aged 67. Archives of Tambimuttu's correspondence and papers are dispersed, but the largest collections are at Northwestern University and the British Library.

Most of Tambimuttu's own works are difficult to access, and his earliest works published before he came to London are lost. His greatest influence was as an editor and publisher, especially during the 1940s.



  • Natarajah: A Poem for Mr. T. S. Eliot's Sixtieth Birthday (1948) PL Pamphlets
  • Out of this War (1941) The Fortune Press


  • T. S. Eliot: A Symposium compiled by Richard March and Tambimuttu (1948) Editions P(oetry) L(ondon)
  • Poetry in Wartime: An Anthology (1942) Faber and Faber
  • India Love Poems (1977) Editions P(oetry) L(ondon)


  1. ^ Williams, Jane (1989). Tambimuttu: Bridge Between Two Worlds. Peter Owen. ISBN 0-7206-0718-3.  pp. 274-290

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