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William Radice


William Radice

Born in 1951 in London, William Radice has pursued a double career as a poet and as a scholar and translator of Bengali, and has written or edited nearly thirty books. His volumes of verse include Strivings (1980) and Louring Skies (1985) for Anvil Press and The Retreat (1994) for the University Press Ltd. in Dhaka.

He wrote the libretto for Param Vir's widely performed chamber opera Snatched by the Gods (1992, based on Tagore), and in 1995 he translated Puccini's Turandot for English National Opera. His translation of Tagore's play The Post Office was performed as a theatre in education project in 1993, directed by Jill Parvin.

He has given numerous lectures and poetry readings in Britain, India, Bangladesh, North America, Germany, Mallorca and other countries in Europe, and has been given literary prizes in both India and Bangladesh. From 1998 to 2002 he wrote a fortnightly "Letter from England" for the Statesman in India, and has also contributed regularly to BBC Radio 2's early morning "Pause for Thought."

In 1988 William Radice joined SOAS, University of London, as Lecturer in Bengali, and from 1999 to 2002 was Senior Lecturer and Head of Departments of South and South East Asia. After a year's sabbatical 2002-3, he has returned as Senior Lecturer, concentrating on research and the supervision of research.

His latest books are Rabindranath Tagore: Particles, Jottings, Sparks: The Collected Brief Poems (HarperCollins, Delhi, 2000; Angel Books, London, 2001), Myths and Legends of India (The Folio Society, London, 2001; Penguin India, 2002), Gifts: Poems 1992-1999 (Grevatt & Grevatt, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2002), Traces of My Father, a translation from the German of Sigfrid Gauch's autobiographical novel Vaterspuren (Northwestern University Press, Illinois, 2002), A Hundred Letters from England (Indialog Publications, Delhi, 2003), Poetry and Community: Lectures and Essays 1991-2001 (D.C. Publishers, Delhi, 2003), and Beauty, Be My Brahman: Indian Poems (Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 2004).

He is married with two daughters, and his main home is in Northumberland. For more information, please visit

Articles by William Radice