John Greening’s first mature poems were published in the 70s magazine, Bananas and he received much early encouragement from Ted Hughes. He worked for Hans Keller at BBC Radio 3 before going to teach in Upper Egypt – where he was awarded the Alexandria Poetry Prize by Mrs Sadat. He was later awarded a Scottish Arts Council grant, but has generally made a living by teaching.
He has been a poetry reviewer for the TLS since the 1990s and judges the Eric Gregory Awards. He has won the Bridport (1998) and the TLS Centenary (2001) prizes. He received a Cholmondeley Award in 2008. He has written studies of First World War Poets, Yeats, Ted Hughes, Hardy, Edward Thomas, the Elizabethans and produced a Poetry Masterclass. He is currently editing an anthology of music poetry.
His Niagara Falls song-cycle (music by Paul Mottram) was premiered by the Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall. and this summer he performed his poetry with Roderick Williams (who sang at the Last Night of the Proms) in Ralph Vaughan Williams’s home at Leith Hill. His verse play about Lindbergh was performed in North Carolina, in 2002.
He has contributed to several BBC radio and TV programmes including a recent war-focused edition of The Verb and lectured on the war poets at Ledbury. He has appeared at several major festivals in recent months.
In Spring 2015, John Greening’s expanded edition of Edmund Blunden’s Undertones of War is published by Oxford University Press and his collected essays and reviews of poetry appear from Eyewear Publishing. In a major collaboration, John Greening and Penelope Shuttle are currently preparing a book of poems about Hounslow Heath.