Carol Rumens

Standard Name: Rumens, Carol
Birth Name: Carol-Ann Lumley
Self-constructed Name: Carol Rumens
Married Name: Carol Rumens
CR is a leading poet of the later twentieth century and beyond. As well as a dozen poetry volumes she has published a novel, short stories, plays, translations, and reviews of literature and music. She has also edited poems and anthologies. Her poems deal often with issues of place, belonging, and displacement, with natural and human-made environments both beautiful and degraded, with women's experience of every kind (especially the insouciant courage of young women confronting a dangerous and unfair world), and with a personal past set against a politically threatened future.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Gillian Clarke
GC 's work has appeared in various other anthologies, including Six Women Poets, edited by Judith Kinsman (along with Fleur Adcock , Selima Hill , Liz Lochhead , Grace Nichols , and Carol Rumens
Anthologization Fleur Adcock
From early in her career FA was an insightful critic as well as a poet, and her judgements were already informed by a matured understanding of the shaping force of gender. Dannie Abse included her...
Intertextuality and Influence Catherine Byron
Reflections on her own life are intertwined throughout CB 's journey, as she writes on her childhood experience of Catholicism, and her roles as mother, wife, lover, and Irish woman writer.
Byron, Catherine. Out of Step. Loxwood Stoneleigh.
She deals trenchantly...
Literary responses Nancy Cunard
Carol Rumens has admired the sweeping free verse and direct address of her Spanish Civil War poems.
Rumens, Carol. “Poem of the week: In the Studio by Nancy Cunard”.
Literary responses Eva Figes
This novel was praised in the Times as brilliant, as novel-writing of the highest technical excellence, but also poignant and funny, tender and cruel, and full of insight into the human condition.
“The Times Digital Archive 1785-2007”. Thompson Gale: The Times Digital Archive.
(22 January 1981) 12
Literary responses Kathleen Jamie
Carol Rumens praised this piece in a Poem of the Week selection for its language and sound-effects, and as an example of Jamie's characteristic combination of delicacy and brawn.
Rumens, Carol. “Poem of the week: The Hinds by Kathleen Jamie”.
Literary responses Philip Larkin
PL declined the poet laureateship, which was offered him after John Betjeman died (on 19 May 1984), on the grounds that he was no longer a practising poet. His many honorary doctorates included those with...
Literary responses Patricia Beer
The review in the New Statesman continued a recent critical note by applying to PB 's techniques two epithets which would hardly have been chosen for a male poet: unflappable and no-nonsense.
Sherry, Vincent B., editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography 40. Gale Research.
Literary responses Ruth Padel
One of these poems, Icicles round a tree in Dumfriesshire, won the National Poetry Competition before its inclusion in this book.
British Library Catalogue.
Carol Rumens , in a review, used the term magic [realism] about these...
Literary responses Patricia Beer
Responses to PB 's poetry have varied widely, even among her fellow poets. Jeni Couzyn has charged her with the crime of not rocking the boat, of making herself a favourite . . . for...
Literary responses Catherine Byron
Reviewer Carol Rumens , writing in Poetry Review, admired the direct and unaffected tone of the final section
Rumens, Carol. “Tyros and Tested: Frances Horovitz, Catherine Byron, Penelope Shuttle, Sylvia Kantaris, Alan Moore, R. A. Maitre, Adrienne Rich”. Poetry Review, Vol.
, No. 4, Poetry Society, pp. 55-7.
and praised CB for her thick, gritty, onomatopoeic textures of language. Rumens concluded that this...
Literary responses Michèle Roberts
Carol Rumens , quoted on the cover of this book, praised MR 's strongly visual sense and power to summon a landscape or domestic interior in a few vivid strokes and splashes of primary colour.
Roberts, Michèle. All the Selves I Was. Virago Press.
back cover
Literary responses E. J. Scovell
Admirers of her work include a number of fellow poets: Carol Rumens (who identifies her unemphatic, undeceived and honest observation of what is as the mark of a specifically modern sensibility),
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
Anne Stevenson ,...
Literary responses Penelope Shuttle
The poet Fleur Adcock , reviewing this book along with Scenes from the Gingerbread House by Carol Rumens , gave her higher praise to Rumens. She identified Shuttle as a private and an uneven poet...
Literary responses Gillian Clarke
A felllow-poet, Carol Rumens , reviewing this volume, found the poems upbeat and relaxed if sometimes low-pressured, with plenty of celebration as well as ecological urgency.She admired the use of aural effects (day...


1 January 1916: The British edition of Vogue (an American...

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1 January 1916

The British edition of Vogue (an American fashion magazine) began publishing from Condé Nast in Hanover Square, London.

26 November 1998: Poems written, read, and discussed by Kathleen...

Women writers item

26 November 1998

Poems written, read, and discussed by Kathleen Jamie , Jackie Kay , and two male poets were issued as number one in the audio-cassette series Poetry Quartets.

10 September 2003: Guardian Unlimited Books named as Site of...

Writing climate item

10 September 2003

Guardian Unlimited Books named as Site of the Week a website entitled Poetry Landmarks of Britain: a map of poetic assocations plotted on an interactive map of Britain, searchable by region or category.

26 September 2009: The Guardian newspaper carried a number of...

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26 September 2009

The Guardian newspaper carried a number of poems and short prose pieces commissioned in support of the 10:10 initiative to reduce carbon emissions.


Rumens, Carol. “A huff of rain”. The Guardian.
Rumens, Carol. A Necklace of Mirrors. Ulsterman, 1978.
Rumens, Carol. A Strange Girl in Bright Colours. Quartet, 1973.
Rumens, Carol. Animal People. Seren, 2016.
Rumens, Carol. Best China Sky. Bloodaxe Books, 1995.
Rumens, Carol. Blind Spots. Seren, 2008.
Rumens, Carol. De Chirico’s Threads. Seren, 2010.
Rumens, Carol. Direct Dialling. Chatto and Windus, 1985.
Adcock, Fleur et al. Fleur Adcock, Carol Ann Duffy, Selima Hill, Carol Rumens. British Council; Bloodaxe Books.
Rumens, Carol. From Berlin to Heaven. Chatto and Windus, 1989.
Rumens, Carol. Hex. Bloodaxe Books, 2002.
Rumens, Carol. Holding Pattern. Blackstaff Press, 1998.
Rumens, Carol, editor. Making for the Open. Chatto and Windus, 1985.
Rumens, Carol. Plato Park. Chatto and Windus, 1987.
Rumens, Carol. “Poem of the week: In the Studio by Nancy Cunard”.
Rumens, Carol. “Poem of the week: The Hinds by Kathleen Jamie”.
Rumens, Carol. Poems 1968-2004. Bloodaxe Books, 2004.
Rumens, Carol. “Poetry’s Disunited Kingdom”. London Library Magazine, No. 6, pp. 12-15.
Rumens, Carol. Selected Poems. Chatto and Windus, 1987.
Rumens, Carol. Self into Song. Bloodaxe Books, 2007.
Rumens, Carol. The Greening of the Snow Beach. Bloodaxe Books, 1988.
Rumens, Carol, and Viv Quillin. The Miracle Diet. Bloodaxe Books, 1997.
Rumens, Carol. Thinking of Skins. Bloodaxe Books, 1993.
Rumens, Carol. “Tyros and Tested: Frances Horovitz, Catherine Byron, Penelope Shuttle, Sylvia Kantaris, Alan Moore, R. A. Maitre, Adrienne Rich”. Poetry Review, Vol.
, No. 4, Poetry Society, pp. 55-7.