William Oxley

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William Oxley (born in 1939) is an English poet and philosopher. Born in Manchester, he married Patricia Holmes in 1963. They have two daughters, Elizabeth Helen (b. 1966) and Katie Sarah (b. 1969).


Oxley's poems have been widely published throughout the world, in magazines and journals as diverse as The New York Times and The Formalist (USA), The Scotsman, New Statesman, The London Magazine, Stand, The Independent, The Spectator and The Observer. Following the publication of a number of his works on the Continent in the 1980s and 1990s, Oxley was dubbed one of Britain's first Europoets.[1] He has read his work on UK and European radio and is the only British poet to have read in Shangri-la, Nepal. He published his first volume of poetry fifty years ago in 1967, and his latest volume in 2015. In between he has published thirty-one poetry publications plus volumes of autobiography, literary criticism and philosophy.

Career in poetry[edit]

A former member of the General Council of the Poetry Society, he is interviews editor of Acumen magazine and co-founder of the Torbay Poetry Festival. He co-edited the newsletter of the Long Poem Group for several years, as its founder. He was Millennium Year poet-in-residence for Torbay in Devon. A limited edition print employing lines from his epic, A Map of Time, was chosen by the Dept. of Cartography, University of Wisconsin to use, with appropriate illustration, in their Annual Broadsheet for 2002. Another of his long poems, Over the Hills of Hampstead, was awarded first prize by the on-line long poem magazine, Echoes of Gilgamesh. In 2008 he received the Torbay ArtsBase Award for Literature. His work is featured on various websites, including, from its beginning, Anne Stewart's prestigious www.poetrypf.co.uk and www.creativetorbay.com. His archive was acquired by the British Library 2014.[2]


  • The Dark Structures. London, Mitre Press, 1967.
  • Mirrors of the Sea. London, Quarto Press, 1973.
  • The Notebook of Hephaestus and Other Poems, Kinross, Lomond Prcss, 1981.
  • A Map of Time. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1984.
  • The Triviad and Other Satires. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1984.
  • The Mansands Trilogy, Richmond, Surrey, Keepsake Press, 1988.
  • Mad Tom on Tower Hill. Exeter, Stride, 1989.
  • Forest Sequence. Bath, Mammon Press, 1991.
  • The Patient Reconstruction of Paradise. Brixham, Devon, Acumen Publications, 1991.
  • The Playboy Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1992.
  • In The Drift of Words. Ware, Rockingham Press, 1992.
  • Cardboard Troy. Exeter, Stride, 1993.
  • The Hallsands Tragedy. Plymouth, Westwords, 1993.
  • Collected Longer Poems. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1994.
  • The Green Crayon Man. Ware, Rockingham Press 1997.
  • Reclaiming the Lyre, New and Selected Poems. Ware, Rockingham Press 2000.
  • Namaste, Nepal Poems, London, Hearing Eye 2004.
  • London Visions, Bristol, Bluechrome, 2005.
  • Poems Antibes. Ware, Rockingham Press, 2006.
  • Sunlight in a Champagne Glass. Ware, Rockingham Press, 2009.
  • ISCA ‒ Exeter Moments. Brixham, Ember Press 2013.
  • Collected and New Poems. Ware, Rockingham Press, 2014.
  • Walking Sequence and Other Poems. Beaworthy, Indigo Dreams, 2015.
  • Poems of a Black Orpheus, Leopold S. Senghor. London, Menard Press. 1981.
  • Ndessé, Leopold S. Senghor. London, Menard Press. 1981.
  • She Chases Me Relentlessly, Leopold S. Senghor. London, Menard Press. 1986.
  • Poems from the Divan of Hafez, (with Parvin Loloi). Torbay, Acumen Publications. 2013.
Other Publications
  • Synopthegms of a Prophet. Brixham, Devon, Ember Press, 1981 .
  • The Idea and its Imminence. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1982.
  • Of Human Consciousness. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1982.
  • The Cauldron of Inspiration. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1983.
  • The Inner Tapestry. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1985.
  • On Poets and Poetry: Letters Between a Father and Son, with Harry Oxley, edited by Patricia Oxley. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1988.
  • Distinguishing Poetry, edited by Glyn Pursglove. Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1989.
  • Three Plays, Salzburg, University of Salzburg 1996
  • No Accounting for Paradise : an autobiography. Ware, Rockingham Press 1999.
  • Firework Planet : children's novel. Torbay, Acumen Publications 2000.
  • Working Backwards: A Poet’s Notebook, Acumen Publications, 2008.
  • Everyman His Own God. Brixham, Beugger Books, 2010.
  • Democratica. Brixham, Beugger Books, 2011.
  • The Language Game and Children. Brixham, Beugger Books, 2012.
  • On and Off Parnassus. Ware, Rockingham Press, 2018.


  • Completing the Picture - (Anthology). Exeter, Stride Publications, 1995.
  • Long Poem Group Newsletter - (issues 1-12) (with Sebastian Barker), Torbay, Acumen Publications, 1995 - 2002.
  • The Residency (Nos 1-2 only) Torbay, Acumen Publications, 2000 - 2001.
  • Making a Splash, prize-winners' anthology (with Penelope Shuttle) Torbay, Acumen Publications, 2001
  • Modern Poets of Europe (with Patricia Oxley), Kathmandu, Nepal. Spiny Babbler, 2004.


  • William Oxley. A Bibliography by James Hogg, Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1984;
  • William Oxley: A Bibliography by Wolfgang Gortschacher, Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1992.

  • Critical Studies:
  • Shields, Mike: “Poet in Profile: William Oxley", Aylesbury,Buckinghamshire, The Writer, April 1975.
  • Stanford, Derek: "Littack: On the Attack", The Statesman, Karachi, April 1975.
  • Fenech, V. "Through Littack to Vitalism", Malta, Bulletin and Times of Malta, 1976.
  • P.H.: "William Oxley. A Survey of his Poetry and Philosophy", Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1984.
  • Hogg, James: "The Vitalist Seminar" and "Vitalism and Celebration", Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1984, 1987.
  • Poets Voice 3: "William Oxley: Retrospective" Bath, Poets Voice, 1987.
  • Mörwald, Eva: "The Role of Nature in William Oxley's Poetry", Salzburg, University of Salzburg, 1989.
  • Görtschacher, Wolfgang & Pursglove, Glyn (Ed): "A Glass of New Made Wine - a Festschrift for William Oxley" Salzburg, Poetry Salzburg, 1999.
  • Görtschacher, Wolfgang & Schachermayr, Andreas (Eds): "The Romantic Imagination: a William Oxley Casebook", Salzburg, Poetry Salzburg, 2005.
  • Jeffery, Lucy: "A Study of William Oxley 1939 – ", Swansea, Swansea University, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pursglove, Glyn; ‘William Oxley: a profile’. Contemporary Poets, Detroit, St. James Press, 1996, pp. 831/2.
  • Greacen, Robert; 'No Accounting For Paradise (Autobiography)', review, Dublin, Irish Independent, 17 July 1999.
  • ‘Ted Slade interviews William Oxley’; UK, August 2000, www.poetrykit.org.
  • Greening, John; 'Reclaiming the Lyre, Selected Poems', review, London, The London Magazine, June/July 2002, pp. 112/113.
  • No Accounting For Paradise', (Autobiography); Edge City Review no 15, review, Reston, VA, USA 2004, pp. 39/40.
  • Steffen, Jonathan; ‘Profile of William Oxley and bibliography’, Falcon Editions website, issue 4, Windsor, October 2005.
  • Sharma, Yuyutsu R.D.; 'Namaste', ‘And the Leaves Fall in Silence’, review, Kathmandu, The Kathmandu Post, 13th Feb. 2005.
  • Myddleton-Evans, Cathryn; 'Namaste', review, Chelmsford, Seam 22, 2005, pp. 58/62.
  • Michaels, Mary; 'London Visions', review, London, 'Sofia', November 2006, p. 22.
  • Blythe, Martin; 'London Visions', review, Poole, South, 2006, p. 59.
  • Dordi, Barbara; 'Poems Antibes', review, Aude, France, The French Literary Review, No. 11, April 2009, p. 47.
  • ‘William Oxley, Bibliography’, Ely, Cambridge, Dictionary of International Biography,2010, p. 810.
  • Harpur James; 'Sunlight in a Champagne Glass', review, London, Temenos Academy Review, review, 2010, p. 220.
  • Holliday, S.J.; 'Sunlight in a Champagne Glass', review, West Kirby, Orbis 151,Spring 2010, pp. 53/54.
  • Virvescu, Catalina Stefania; ‘Interview with William Oxley’, Bucharest, University of Bucharest, Romania, 2011. www.agonia.net.
  • McCaffery, Richie; 'Collected and New Poems', review, London, on-line magazine The London Grip, 2012. www.londongrip.co.uk.
  • Loydell, Stride; 'ISCA: Exeter Moments', review, Truro, on-line magazine, Stride, 2013. www.stridemagazine.co.uk.
  • Perman, David; ‘William Oxley: the Interviewer interviewed’, Devon, Acumen Literary Journal, No. 79, May 2014, pp. 14–20.
  • Taylor-Whiffer, Peter; ‘Poetic Licence’, profile of William Oxley, London Economia, February 2015, p. 98.
  • 'ISCA: Exeter Moments', Plymouth, Literature Works, Book of the Month, May 2015. www.literatureworks.org.uk.
  • Palmer, Richard; 'Collected and New Poems', review, Maidenhead, South, May 2015, p. 56.


  1. ^ Vitalism and Celebration. Salzburg 1987. Salzburg University Press. Preface, p.7 [6]
  2. ^ William Oxley's archive: British Library