U. A. Fanthorpe

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Ursula Askham Fanthorpe
Born Ursula Askham Fanthorpe
(1929-07-22)22 July 1929
Died 28 April 2009(2009-04-28) (aged 79)
Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Pen name U. A. Fanthorpe
Occupation Poet
Citizenship British
Education St Anne's College, Oxford
Period 1978 (1978)–2007 (2007)
Genre Poetry
Notable works Side Effects
Collected Poems
From Me To You: Love Poems
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
Partner R. V. "Rosie" Bailey

Ursula Askham Fanthorpe, CBE, FRSL (22 July 1929 – 28 April 2009) was an English poet. She published under the form U. A. Fanthorpe.

Life and work[edit]

Born in south-east London, the daughter of a barrister,[1] Fanthorpe was educated at St Catherine's School, Bramley in Surrey and at St Anne's College, Oxford, where she received a first-class degree in English language and literature, and subsequently taught English at Cheltenham Ladies' College for sixteen years. She then abandoned teaching for jobs as a secretary, receptionist and hospital clerk in Bristol – in her poems, she later remembered some of the patients for whose records she had been responsible .[2]

Fanthorpe's first volume of poetry, Side Effects, was published in 1978. She was "Writer-in-Residence" at St Martin's College, Lancaster (now University of Cumbria) (1983–85), as well as Northern Arts Fellow at Durham and Newcastle Universities.[3][4]

Her most famous poem is probably Atlas, with its celebrated opening line, "There is a kind of love called maintenance."

In 1987 Fanthorpe went freelance, giving readings around the country and occasionally abroad. In 1994 she was nominated for the post of Professor of Poetry at Oxford.[5] Her nine collections of poems were published by Peterloo Poets. Her Collected Poems was published in 2005. Many of her poems are for two voices. In her readings the other voice is that of Bristol academic and teacher R. V. "Rosie" Bailey, Fanthorpe's life partner of 44 years. The couple co-wrote a collection of poems, From Me To You: love poems, that was published in 2007 by Enitharmon.[6]

Fanthorpe died, aged 79, on 28 April 2009, in a hospice near her home in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.[5][7]

Fanthorpe was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was made CBE in 2001 for services to poetry. In 2003 she received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. In 2006 she was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) from the University of Bath.[8]



  1. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/books-obituaries/5252820/UA-Fanthorpe.html
  2. ^ Lasting Tribute site Archived 27 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "UA Fanthorpe (1929–2009) by R V Bailey" for Second Light
  4. ^ "The North East Literary Fellowship". School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, University of Newcastle. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "British poet UA Fanthorpe dies". BBC News. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  6. ^ U.A. Fanthorpe, R. V. Bailey, From Me To You, London: Enitharmon Press 2007
  7. ^ "Obituaries: UA Fanthorpe". The Telegraph. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  8. ^ University of Bath "Degree ceremonies finish at Bath Abbey today", 2006

External links[edit]