Queer Places:
Greshams School, Cromer Rd, Holt NR25 6EA, Regno Unito
University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, Regno Unito
University College School, 11 Holly Hill, London NW3 6QN, Regno Unito
15 Loudoun Rd, London NW8 0LS, Regno Unito
St Mary on Paddington Green, 1LG, St Mary's Square, London W2, Regno Unito

Image result for Stephen SpenderSir Stephen Harold Spender CBE (28 February 1909 – 16 July 1995) was an English poet, novelist, and essayist who concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle in his work. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the United States Library of Congress in 1965.

In 1933, Spender fell in love with Tony Hyndman, and they lived together during 1935–1936.[19] In 1934, Spender had an affair with Muriel Gardiner. In a letter to Christopher Isherwood in September 1934 he said: "I find boys much more attractive, in fact I am rather more than usually susceptible, but actually I find the actual sexual act with women more satisfactory, more terrible, more disgusting, and, in fact, more everything."[19] In 1936, shortly after the end of his relationship with Tony Hyndman, Spender fell in love with and married Agnes Maria Pearn (known as Inez Pearn). This marriage broke down in 1939.[19] In 1941, Spender married Natasha Litvin, a concert pianist. This marriage lasted until his death. Their daughter Lizzie is married to the Australian actor and comedian Barry Humphries, and their son Matthew Spender is married to the daughter of the Armenian artist Arshile Gorky.

Spender's sexuality has been the subject of debate. Spender's seemingly changing attitudes have caused him to be labeled bisexual, repressed, latently homophobic, or simply someone so complex as to resist easy labelling.[20] Many of his friends in his earlier years were gay. Spender himself had many affairs with men in his earlier years, most notably with Tony Hyndman (who is called "Jimmy Younger" in his memoir World Within World). Following his affair with Muriel Gardiner he shifted his focus to heterosexuality,[11] though his relationship with Hyndman complicated both this relationship and his short-lived marriage to Inez Pearn (1936–1939). His marriage to Natasha Litvin in 1941 seems to have marked the end of his romantic relationships with men, although not the end of all homosexual activity, as his unexpurgated diaries reveal.[21] Subsequently, he toned down homosexual allusions in later editions of his poetry. The following line was revised in a republished edition: "Whatever happens, I shall never be alone. I shall always have a boy, a railway fare, or a revolution." was later revised to read: "Whatever happens, I shall never be alone. I shall always have an affair, a railway fare, or a revolution." Spender sued author David Leavitt for allegedly using his relationship with "Jimmy Younger" in Leavitt's While England Sleeps in 1994. The case was settled out of court with Leavitt removing certain portions from his text.

On 16 July 1995, Spender died of a heart attack in Westminster, London, aged 86.[22] He was buried in the graveyard of St Mary on Paddington Green Church in London.

The Stephen Spender Trust is a registered charity that was founded to widen knowledge of 20th century literature, with particular focus on Stephen Spender’s circle of writers, and to promote literary translation. The Trust's activities include poetry readings; academic conferences; a seminar series in partnership with the Institute of English Studies; an archive programme in conjunction with the British Library and the Bodleian; work with schools via Translation Nation; The Guardian Stephen Spender Prize, an annual poetry translation prize established in 2004; and the Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize, a worldwide Russian–English translation competition.[23]


  1. John Sutherland (6 January 2005). Stephen Spender: A Literary Life. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-19-517816-6.
  2. David Leeming (1 April 2011). Stephen Spender: A Life in Modernism. Henry Holt and Company. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-4299-3974-4.
  3. John Sutherland (6 January 2005). Stephen Spender: A Literary Life. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-19-517816-6.
  4. Bozorth, Richard R. (1995). "But Who Would Get It? Auden and the Codes of Poetry and Desire". ELH. 62 (3): 709–727. doi:10.1353/elh.1995.0023.
  5. "Trial of a Judge: A Tragedy in Five Acts". questia.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  6. Isherwood, Christopher (2012). Christopher and His Kind. Vintage. ISBN 9780099561071.
  7. Pace, Eric (1995-07-18). "Stephen Spender, Poet of Melancholic Vision and Social Conscience, Dies at 86". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  8. New Writing at Google Books Accessed 21 March 2009
  9. "Stephen Spender". poetryarchive.org.
  10. Stephen Holt, Manning Clark and Australian History, 1915–1963, St Lucia: UQP, 1982, p 60.
  11. Sutherland, John (September 2004). "Spender, Sir Stephen Harold (1909–1995)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57986. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  12. Frances Stonor Saunders (12 July 1999). "How the CIA plotted against us". New Statesman. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  13. http://asweb.artsci.uc.edu/english/cw/elliston.html[permanent dead link]
  14. Warwick McFadyen, review of John Sutherland's biography "Stephen Spender", The Age, Review, p.3
  15. "Poet Laureate Timeline: 1961–1970". Library of Congress. 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2008.
  16. "No. 42683". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 May 1962. pp. 4316–4317.
  17. "No. 49375". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 June 1983. pp. 1–2.
  18. "No. 49575". The London Gazette. 20 December 1983. p. 16802.
  19. Sutherland, John (2004). "Sir Stephen Harold Spender". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
  20. "glbtq >> literature >> Spender, Sir Stephen". glbtq.com. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  21. Paul Kildea, Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, p. 216
  22. Stephen Spender: A Literary Life
  23. "The Stephen Spender Trust". stephen-spender.org.
  24. "Golden Pen Award, official website". English PEN. Retrieved 3 December 2012.