Wendy Cope

Standard Name: Cope, Wendy
Birth Name: Wendy Cope
WC is a late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century poet who treats everyday concerns, often in demanding forms, such as the sonnet or the villanelle. Her tone is colloquial and she makes these difficult forms look easy. She has taken up cudgels on behalf of the comic and light-hearted in poetry, and argued that such a manner is not incompatible with underlying seriousness. Indeed, her humour often sweetens a provocative statement: about men in their unequal private relationships with women, for instance, or about pompousness and self-serving in the poetry industry. She has reviewed, written for children, edited a number of anthologies, written introductions for the work of others, and, recently, embarked on narrative poetry in the tradition of Chaucer .


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Literary responses Germaine Greer
A female gynaecologist mentioned in the book as uncaring and insensitive successfully sued Greer for damages.
Wallace, Christine. Germaine Greer: Untamed Shrew. Richard Cohen Books.
The Penguin paperback which followed the year after publication came garlanded with praise from British feminist writers: Wendy Cope
Reception Elizabeth Jennings
Nicholas Lezard used this collection as an opportunity to celebrate Jennings's many registers and many modes. These, he notes, run from the deceptively simple, Wendy-Cope -like account of a child's disappointment that Piccadilly Circus had...
Textual Features Fleur Adcock
Again her introduction is interesting and trenchant. She observes that the early twentieth century already feels remote. Her selection runs from Charlotte Mew (born in 1869) to a clutch of women a little over thirty:...
Textual Features Carol Ann Duffy
Many poems here feature women answering back to canonical male voices: Liz Lochhead to Donne , Jenny Joseph to W. S. Gilbert , U. A. Fanthorpe to Walt Whitman , Wendy Cope to A. E. Housman
Textual Features Carol Ann Duffy
The sixty poets were each commissioned for a poem marking a particular year. They included Gillian Clarke (1955: Running Away to the Sea), Ruth Fainlight (1963: World Events), Liz Lochhead (1966: Photograph, Art...
Textual Production Sarah Daniels
When Sally Avens conceived of a series of four radio plays, Women on Love, based on love-poems by women, SD contributed a piece on Carol Ann Duffy 's Warming Her Pearls (in which a...


January 1986: Poems on the Underground, brainchild of Judith...

Writing climate item

January 1986

Poems on the Underground , brainchild of Judith Chernaik , was launched at a ceremony at Aldwych Station. This group arranges the display of single short poems among advertisements in London underground trains.

1998-9: In a league table of sales in verse for these...

Writing climate item


In a league table of sales in verse for these years, published by the Guardian in October 2000, Ted Hughes was the highest with 172,174, Seamus Heaney second with 34,690, and Carol Ann Duffy third...

23 September 2005: A commission from The Guardian to established...

Women writers item

23 September 2005

A commission from The Guardian to established poets to write a contemporary nursery rhyme produced mostly little pieces about doom and gloom.


Cope, Wendy. “’We like being married but we should have had a choice’”. theguardian.com.
Cope, Wendy. “A curse on late payers”. The Author, Vol.
, No. 2, p. 57.
Cope, Wendy. Across the City. Priapus Press, 1980.
Cope, Wendy. Anecdotal Evidence. Faber, 2018.
Cope, Wendy. “Differences of Opinion, Wendy Cope”. Poetry Foundation.
Cope, Wendy. “Do you like my poems? So pay for them”. Guardian Weekly.
Cope, Wendy. Family Values. Faber, 2011.
Cope, Wendy. If I Don’t Know. Faber and Faber, 2001.
Roche, Christine. Is That the New Moon?. Editor Cope, Wendy, Lions, 1989.
Cope, Wendy. “Letter”. The Author, Vol.
, No. 1, p. 38.
Cope, Wendy. “Letter”. The Author, Vol.
, No. 4, p. 187.
Cope, Wendy. Life, Love and The Archers. Two Roads, 2014.
Cope, Wendy. Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis. Faber and Faber, 1986.
Cope, Wendy. “On Erith: ’A place few people have heard of and even fewer can pronounce’”. theguardian.com.
Cope, Wendy. Serious Concerns. Faber and Faber, 1992.
Cope, Wendy, and Nicholas Garland. The River Girl. Faber and Faber, 1991.
Cope, Wendy, and Sally Kindberg. Twiddling Your Thumbs. Faber, 1988.
Cope, Wendy. “Two Sonnets for Shakespeare 400”. The Guardian, p. Review 5.
Cope, Wendy. “Women’s Poetry Competition 2006”. Mslexia, No. 30, pp. 31-2.
Cope, Wendy. “Women’s Poetry Competition 2014”. Mslexia, No. 63, pp. 27-9.
Cope, Wendy. “Writers’ Rooms”. theguardian.com.
Cope, Wendy. “Writing to length”. Mslexia, No. 25, p. 47.