Apollinaire's poetry reflects the heady years of artistic and intellectual ferment before the First World War. The most dynamic modernist French poet and the champion of the Cubist painters, he is remembered as much for his more traditional lyric poems as for the typographical experiments of his calligrammes'. Subtle and complex, yet often direct, his poetry is still fresh and memorable.
Guillaume Apollinaire was born in Rome in 1880. Educated in Monaco and Nice, he became a French citizen only in 1916, after service in the artillery and infantry. He was badly wounded in the head in 1916, and died during the Paris flu epidemic in 1918. As prose writer and art critic as well as poet, Apollinaire was the moving spirit of French modernism.
Oliver Bernard, born in 1925, has worked as an advisory teacher of drama, and was a director of the Speak a Poem Competition from its inception. He has lived in Norfolk for over thirty years.