Alvarez, A.

Alvarez, A. (Alfred Alvarez) ălvärˈĕz, ălˈvərĕzˌ [key], 1929–2019, English writer, critic, and poet. He was a theater critic, a writer for the British Broadcasting Corp., a poetry editor and critic, and a visiting professor at numerous universities. As a critic and editor, he championed the work of young poets, particularly his friends Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, and his anthology The New Poetry (1962, rev. ed. 1966) brought the verse of Plath, Hughes, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, and others to a large British audience. His writing, characterized by a vigorous style, includes his Poems (1978) and Selected Poems, 1953–1976 (1978) and the novels Hunt (1979) and Day of Atonement (1991). A passionate poker player, he wrote The Biggest Game in Town (1983) and Poker: Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats (2001). Among his critical works are Beyond All This Fiddle: Essays 1955–67 (1968) and Samuel Beckett (1973). Many of his books, especially the later ones, had personal themes, e.g., The Savage God (1972), a meditation on suicide, Feeding the Rat (1989), about rock climbing, and Night (1995), a multifaceted study of nighttime.

See his memoir, Where Did It All Go Right? (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present: Biographies