David Constantine of Scilly

David Constantine
David Constantine

David Constantine was born in 1944 in Salford, Lancashire. He read Modern Languages at Wadham College, Oxford, and lectured in German at Durham from 1969 to 1981 and at Oxford from 1981 to 2000. He is a Fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford, and works as a freelance writer and translator.

He has published translations of poetry and prose by German, French and Greek writers. His critical introduction to the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin appeared from Oxford University Press in 1988, and his translation of Hölderlin's Selected Poems from Bloodaxe Books in 1990, winning the European Poetry Translation Prize for its revised edition (1996). Hölderlin's Sophocles, his version of Hölderlin's translations of Antigone and Oedipus, came out in 2001. At present he is translating Goethe's Faust for Penguin.

The French edition of his third collection Madder translated by Yves Bichet as Sorlingues (La Dogana, 1992) won the Prix Rhône-Alpes du Livre.

His latest collections are: Caspar Hauser: a poem in nine cantos (Bloodaxe Books, 1994); The Pelt of Wasps (Bloodaxe Books, 1998), which includes his verse-play Lady Hamilton and the Elephant Man, first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1997; and Something for the Ghosts (Bloodaxe Books, 2002).

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