About Charles Causley

Charles Causley (1917-2003) was born and brought up in Launceston, Cornwall and lived there for most of his life. His father died in the First World War when he was only seven and this, as well as his own experiences in the Second World War, affected him deeply. His poems draw inspiration from folk songs, hymns, and above all, ballads. His poetry was recognised by the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1967 and his poetry is popular with everyone, making him, in the words of Ted Hughes, one of the “best loved and most needed” poets of the last fifty years.

Causley’s poems have a timeless quality. It’s possible to imagine poems such as ‘Miller’s End’ being recited round a fireside a hundred or more years ago as well as being enjoyed today. Causley wrote for adults and children and he saw no difference between the two types of work, always keeping a child-like freshness to his poems. His poetry comes from a strong oral tradition so it is wonderful to be able to listen to his own interpretations. His Cornish burr adds a story-teller’s magic to the ballads and poems.

Charles Causley's recording was made for The Poetry Archive on 5 December 2002 at the home of a friend of Mr. Causley in Launceston, Cornwall, UK and was produced by Richard Carrington.

Selected Bibliography

Tail of the Trinosaur , Brockhampton, 1972

Johnny Alleluia, Heron Court Press, 1968

Timothy Winters, Turret Books, 1970

Six Women , Keepsake Press, 1973

Ward 15 , Words Press, 1974

Here We Go Round The Round House, New Broom Private Press, 1976

Schondilie , New Broom Private Press, 1982

Hymn , Morrigu Press, 1983

When Dad Felt Bad , Macmillan, 1975

Collected Poems 1951 - 2000, Picador, 2000


1967 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

1971 Cholmondeley Award

1986 Signal Poetry Award, Early in the Morning

1987 Kurt Maschler Award, Jack the Treacle Eater

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