ISBN 978 0 9564078 3 2
The actor TOM DURHAM performs excerpts from David Jones’s major works In
Parenthesis and The Anathemata, and four shorter poems taken from The Sleeping
Lord and Other Fragments.
David Jones was born in Brockley, Kent, in 1895. His father was Welsh, a printer’s
overseer, and his mother, the daughter of a Rotherhithe mast and block-maker.
Before and after World War 1, in which he fought as a private soldier, he studied at
the Camberwell and Westminster Schools of Art. He was closely associated with Eric
Gill’s artistic communities. Jones became a true maker-poet, like William Blake,
using drawing, watercolour, engraving, inscription and his epic poems to represent
the world. In later life Jones suffered intermittent nervous illness and led a secluded
existence. Although he attracted many loyal colleagues, admirers and friends his
painstaking creativity became the best remedy for illness and for his profound sense of
loss ‘at the turn of a civilization’. He died in 1974.
Tom Durham is an actor with a particular interest in the performance of challenging
poetry. When he was eleven years old, he and his family lived for two months in the
same London boarding-house as David Jones.