Charles Causley

A brief biography

Charles Causley was born in Launceston in Cornwall, and spent most of his life there. After serving in the navy in the second world war (an experience he wrote about in Hands to Dance and Skylark), he worked as a teacher in Launceston and began publishing verse in the 1950s. His poetry includes many references to Cornwall and its legends, and in his later years he published many books of verse for children, several of which have been illustrated by prominent artists.

In addition to his poetry, Causley wrote plays, short stories and opera librettos. He was also a prolific editor of collections of poetry. In 1958 Causley was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a CBE in 1986. Other awards include the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1967. He was presented with the Heywood Hill Literary Prize in 2000. Between 1962 and 1966 he was a member of the Poetry Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Causley was very highly regarded by his fellow poets, and on his 70th birthday, many of them, including Ted Hughes, Elizabeth Jennings, Roger McGough and Seamus Heaney contributed to a collection of poetry and prose tributes published in his honour.

Charles Causley died in 2003.