39 Facts About Stephen Spender


Sir Stephen Harold Spender was an English poet, novelist and essayist whose work concentrated on themes of social injustice and the class struggle.


Stephen Spender was appointed US Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1965.


Stephen Spender went first to Hall School in Hampstead and then at 13 to Gresham's School, Holt and later Charlecote School in Worthing, but he was unhappy there.


Stephen Spender left for Nantes and Lausanne and then went up to University College, Oxford.


Stephen Spender said at various times throughout his life that he never passed any exam.


Stephen Spender left Oxford without taking a degree and in 1929 moved to Hamburg.


Stephen Spender was acquainted with fellow Auden Group members Louis MacNeice, Edward Upward and Cecil Day-Lewis.


Stephen Spender began work on a novel in 1929, which was not published until 1988, under the title The Temple.


Hemingway even broke his rule of not reading in public if Stephen Spender would read with him.


Since Stephen Spender agreed, Hemingway appeared for a rare reading in public with him.


In 1936, Stephen Spender became a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.


In late 1936, Stephen Spender married Inez Pearn, whom he had recently met at an Aid to Spain meeting.


Stephen Spender was described as 'small and rather ironic' and 'strikingly good-looking'.


Stephen Spender travelled to Tangier and tried to enter Spain via Cadiz, but was sent back.


Stephen Spender then travelled to Valencia, where he met Hemingway and Manuel Altolaguirre.


In July 1937, Stephen Spender attended the Second International Writers' Congress, the purpose of which was to discuss the attitude of intellectuals to the war, held in Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid and attended by many writers, including Hemingway, Andre Malraux, and Pablo Neruda.


Pollitt told Stephen Spender 'to go and get killed; we need a Byron in the movement'.


Stephen Spender felt close to the Jewish people; his mother, Violet Hilda Schuster, was half-Jewish.


Stephen Spender was initially graded C upon examination because of his earlier colitis, poor eyesight, varicose veins and the long-term effects of a tapeworm in 1934.


Stephen Spender spent the winter of 1940 teaching at Blundell's School, taking a position that had been vacated by Manning Clark, who returned to Australia as a consequence of the war to teach at Geelong Grammar.


Stephen Spender was the editor of Encounter magazine from 1953 to 1966 but resigned after it emerged that the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which published it, was covertly funded by the CIA.


Stephen Spender insisted that he was unaware of the ultimate source of the magazine's funds.


Stephen Spender taught at various American institutions including University of California at Berkeley and Northwestern University.


Stephen Spender accepted the Elliston Chair of Poetry at the University of Cincinnati in 1954.


Stephen Spender helped found the magazine Index on Censorship, was involved in the founding of the Poetry Book Society and did work for UNESCO.


Stephen Spender was appointed the 17th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1965.


Stephen Spender was Professor of English at University College London from 1970 to 1977 and then became professor emeritus.


Stephen Spender was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire at the 1962 Queen's Birthday Honours, and knighted in the 1983 Queen's Birthday Honours.


Stephen Spender had profound intellectual workings with the world of art, including Picasso.


Stephen Spender 'collected and befriended artists such as Arp, Auerbach, Bacon, Freud, Giacometti, Gorky, Guston, Hockney, Moore, Morandi, Picasso and others'.


Stephen Spender wrote China Diary with David Hockney in 1982, published by Thames and Hudson art publishers in London.


In 1933, Stephen Spender fell in love with Tony Hyndman, and they lived together from 1935 to 1936.


In December 1936, shortly after the end of his relationship with Hyndman, Stephen Spender fell in love with and married Inez Pearn after an engagement of only three weeks.


Stephen Spender's seemingly changing attitudes have caused him to be labelled bisexual, repressed, latently homophobic, or simply something complex that resists easy labelling.


Stephen Spender had many affairs with men in his earlier years, most notably Hyndman, who was called 'Jimmy Younger' in his memoir World Within World.


Stephen Spender sued author David Leavitt for allegedly using his relationship with 'Jimmy Younger' in Leavitt's While England Sleeps in 1994.


On 16 July 1995, Stephen Spender died of a heart attack in Westminster, London, aged 86.


Stephen Spender was buried in the graveyard of St Mary on Paddington Green Church, in London.


The Stephen Spender Trust is a registered charity that was founded to widen the knowledge of 20th-century literature, with a particular focus on Spender's circle of writers, and to promote literary translation.