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Daniel Abse (1923-2014). Courtesy Poetry International.

Daniel Abse CBE (22 September 1923 - 28 September 2014) was a Welsh poet.


Youth and educationEdit

Abse was born in Cardiff, Wales to a Jewish family.[1] He is the younger brother of politician and reformer Leo Abse and eminent psychoanalyst Wilfred Abse.

Abse studied medicine at the University of Wales, and then at Westminster Hospital and King's College London.

Career Edit

Although best known as a poet, Abse worked in the medical field, and was a specialist at a chest clinic for over 30 years.

His debut poetry collection, After Every Green Thing, was published in 1949.[1]

His autobiographic work, Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve, was published in 1954.

Abse lived for several decades in the northwest area of London, mainly near Hampstead where he had considerable ties. For several years he wrote a column for the "Ham & High" (Hampstead and Highgate Express) local newspaper. The articles were subsequently published in book form.

In 2005 his wife Joan Abse was killed in a car accident, while Abse suffered a broken rib. His poetry collection, Running Late, was published in 2006, and The Presence, a memoir of the year after his wife died, was published in 2007.[2] The book was later dramatised for BBC Radio 4.

In 2009 Abse brought out a volume of collected poetry.


Abse has received numerous literary awards and fellowships for his writing. He won the Welsh Arts Council Award in both 1971 and 1987, and the Cholmondeley Award in 1985.

He became a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983.

In 1989, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Wales. Absie's 2007 memoir, Running Late, won the 2008 Wales Book of the Year award.[3]

In 2009, he received the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award.

Abse was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to poetry and literature.[4]


  • After Every Green Thing. London: Hutchinson, 1948.
  • Walking Under Water. Hutchinson, 1952.
  • Fire in Heaven. London: Hutchinson, 1956.x
  • Tenants of the House: Poems, 1951-1956. London: Hutchinson, 1957.
  • Poems, Golders Green. London: Hutchinson, 1962.
  • Poems: A selection. London: Vista/Dufour, 1963.
  • A Small Desperation. London: Hutchinson, 1968.
  • Demo Sceptre, 1969 x
  • Selected Poems. London: Hutchinson, 1970.
  • Funland and Other Poems. London: Hutchinson, 1973.
  • The Dogs of Pavlov Vallentine, Mitchell, 1973 x
  • Penguin Modern Poets 26 (by Dannie Abse, D.J. Enright, & Michael Longley). New York: Penguin, 1975.
  • Collected Poems 1948-1976. London: Hutchinson, 1977.
  • Way Out in the Centre. London: Hutchinson, 1981.
  • One-legged on ice: poems University of Georgia Press, 1983x
  • Ask the Bloody Horse Hutchinson, 1986
  • Journals From the Ant Heap Hutchinson, 1986
  • White Coat, Purple Coat: Collected Poems, 1948-1988. London; Hutchinson, 1989.
  • Remembrance of Crimes Past: Poems, 1986-1989. London: Hutchinson, 1990.
  • On the Evening Road. London: Hutchinson, 1994.x
  • Selected Poems. New York: Penguin, 1994.
  • Welsh Retrospective. Bridgend, UK: Seren, 1997.
  • Arcadia, One Mile. London: Hutchinson, 1998.
  • Be seated, thou: Poems, 1989-1998. Rhinebeck, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 1999.
  • Encounters Hearing Eye, 2001.x
  • New and Collected Poems Hutchinson, 2002
  • Yellow Bird. Rhinebeck, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 2004.
  • Running Late. London: Hutchinson, 2006.
  • New Selected Poems, 1949-2009: Anniversary collection. London: Hutchinson, 2009.
  • Speak, Old Parrot. London: Hutchinson, 2013.


  • Three Questor Plays. Scorpion, 1967.
  • The View from Row G: Three plays. Seren, 1990.


  • Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve. London: Hutchinson, 1954.
  • Some Corner of an English Field. London: Hutchinson, 1956.
  • O. Jones, O. Jones. London: Hutchinson, 1970.
  • There Was A Young Man From Cardiff. London: Hutchinson, 1991.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Simmonds & Dr. Glas. London: Robson, 2002.


  • Medicine on Trial. Aldus, 1967
  • A Poet in the Family. London: Robson, 1974.
  • More Words BBC, 1977
  • My Medical School. Robson, 1978.
  • Pythagoras. London: Hutchinson, 1979.
  • A Strong Dose of Myself. London: Hutchinson, 1983.
  • Goodbye, Twentieth Century: An autobiography. London: Pimlico, 2001.
  • The Two Roads Taken: A prose miscellany. Enitharmon Press, 2003.
  • The Presence. London: Hutchinson, 2007.


  • Mavericks: An anthology (edited with Howard Sergeant). Editions Poetry and Poverty, 1957.
  • Modern European Verse. Vista, 1964.
  • Modern Poets in Focus 1. Corgi, 1971.
  • Modern Poets in Focus 3. Corgi, 1971.
  • Thirteen Poets. Poetry Book Society, 1972.
  • Modern Poets in Focus 5. Corgi, 1973.
  • Doctors and Patients. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1984.
  • Voices in the Gallery: Poems and Pictures (edited with Joan Abse). Tate Gallery, 1986
  • The Music Lover's Literary Companion (edited with Joan Abse). Robson, 1988
  • The Hutchinson Book of Post-War British Poetry. London: Hutchinson, 1989.
  • The Gregory Anthology 1991-1993 (edited with A. Stevenson). Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994.
  • Twentieth-Century Anglo-Welsh Poetry. Seren, 1997.
  • 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust: Homage to Eros (compiler & editor). Robson, 2007.


  • Intermittent Journals. Seren, 1994.

Dannie Abse reading from Speak, Old Parrot

Dannie Abse reading from Speak, Old Parrot

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy Poetry International.[5]

See also Edit


  • T. Curtis, Dannie Abse (1985) (Writers of Wales series)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dannie Abse
  2. Dannie Abse
  3. Dannie Abse
  4. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60009. p. 6. 31 December 2011.
  5. Dannie Abse, Poetry International. Web, Oct. 31, 2019.

External links Edit

Audio / video
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