Grevel Lindop

Grevel Lindop


I was born in Liverpool and educated at Oxford, where I read English. In 1977 I published my first full-length collection of poems, Fools’ Paradise. That book has been followed by five other books of poems: Tourists (1987), A Prismatic Toy (1991), Selected Poems (2000); then – published by Wave Books in Australia – the first four sections of my long poem-in-progress on the life of the Buddha, Touching the Earth, and another collection of poems, Playing With Fire, from Carcanet Press in 2006. My new collection, Luna Park, was published by Carcanet in 2015.

In the late 1970s I became interested in Thomas De Quincey, ‘the English Opium-Eater’, essayist and friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge. I wrote a biography of him, published in 1981 as The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey. Later I edited his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings for the Oxford World’s Classics series in 1985, and later still I piloted The Works of Thomas De Quincey, a 21-volume complete edition of his writings, produced by a team of eleven editors under my direction and published in 2000-03.

Alongside this work I published in 1993 A Literary Guide to the Lake District, a systematic guide to the area’s literary connections from the earliest times to the present day. It won the ‘Lakeland Book of the Year’ award in 1994. It has been repeatedly updated, and a new edition was published by Sigma Press in 2015.

My travel book, Travels on the Dance Floor was chosen as a Radio 4 Book of the Week and shortlisted as Authors’ Club Best Travel Book.

Mysterious Wisdom: The Spiritual Life and Poetry of W.B. Yeats will be published by Oxford University Press in 2026.

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Grevel Lindop

Latest Release

Travels on the Dance Floor by Grevel Lindop

When poet and biographer Grevel Lindop takes up salsa dancing in rainy Manchester, all he has are size 12 feet and excruciating adolescent memories of ballroom dancing lessons. But salsa has a way of getting into your blood. Intense and intimate, sexy and addictive, the adrenalin-pumping Afro-Latin-American dance style soon becomes an obsession. Inspired to learn more, Lindop decides on a solo adventure to find the geographical and cultural roots of salsa. From the streets, bars and dancehalls of Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia to those of Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Miami - land of Cuban exiles - he stumbles across a colourful cast of characters and a raft of new tricks. His quest also gives rise to basic confrontations with himself: can a 6'4" white, English poet really dance? And what happens when he does? Travels on the Dance Floor is Lindop's vibrant and evocative account of his odyssey, written with wry humour and a poet's eye for colour, detail and atmosphere. Funny, passionate and inspiring by turns, it is a book that will be loved by dance addicts and armchair travellers alike.

    Other Publications

    by Grevel Lindop

      Travels on the Dance Floor
      A Literary Guide to the Lake District