Timothy Adès : Translator–Poet

About Timothy Adès

Timothy Adès, born 1941, has degrees in classics and international business. He translates mainly French, German and Spanish poems into English, tending to work with rhyme and metre.

His three books to date are:

  • Victor Hugo, How to be a Grandfather, Hearing Eye, 2012 — the new complete edition is now on sale (the 2002 edition of selected poems is sold out):
    • revised and enlarged
    • published by Hearing Eye
    • 184 pages
    • language: English
    • rhyming text, introduction, lifeline, notes
    • + other poems by Hugo
    • + Hugo as seen by other poets
  • Jean Cassou, 33 Sonnets of the Resistance (composed and memorised in a Vichy prison), Arc Publications, Second Edition, 2005;
  • Cassou, The Madness of Amadis, Agenda Editions, 2008.

See a full list of Timothy Adès’s publications.

Other favourites are Brecht, and the Mexican, Alfonso Reyes; Sikelianós, Nerval, Louise Labé, Ricarda Huch, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, Hans/Jean Arp; and most of all, Robert Desnos, 1900–45, the most exciting French poet of the last century.

Timothy’s awards include the John Dryden Prize and the TLS Premio Valle–Inclán Prize.


Timothy will be selling books of poetry in translation, hand–picked, at the Arts & Crafts Fair at Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, London N6, on Sunday 14 December, 11am to 5pm.

Timothy reads from ‘Florentino and the Devil’ on Tuesday 20 January 2015, at 7.30pm, at Swedenborg Hall in London, with Shearsman poets Sandeep Parmar, Peter Robinson.

Timothy read with Long Poem Magazine on Thursday 27 November at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, his poem of 100 lines and one vowel, ‘The Excellent Wessex Event (When She Wedded Me)’. An Apparatus Criticus appears with it in the Magazine, no. 11: please see under Lipograms. Also: Robert Desnos ‘Ode to Coco’.

Timothy has read solo at the Suffolk Poetry Society, the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society, at Mayfield for Agenda, in Guernsey, at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (twice), at the Maison Française in Oxford and at many venues around London, and has featured in events at the Universities of East Anglia (twice) and Newcastle, at Keswick in Cumbria, at the British Library and at King’s Place in London. A Londoner, he often contributes at the Torriano and the Troubadour.

His solo presentation ‘Rhyming Translator–Poet’ at, and for, the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution in June 2011 raised hundreds of pounds in admissions and sales of books and magazines.

Read more about poetry events involving Timothy Adès.

  • Translating Poetry

    “I like to work with rhyme and metre, as in the original. This was a very long poem, in translator hours. It was a joy to find so many happy co–incidences, so many rhymes, some ordinary, some curious and unforeseeable. ‘Wake you’ with ‘vehicle’! So many twists and turns and lucky escapes, thanks to the mighty English language.”

    Read the full article by Timothy Adès.

  • Critical Opinion

    On Victor Hugo How to be a Grandfather:

    “[Often] one forgets that one is reading a translation at all … This is great poetry of childhood, and …, not co–incidentally, it is among the finest poetry of old age … I strongly recommend [it] for the accomplishment of the translator and for the thought–provoking quality of much of what is translated.”

    — Glyn Pursglove

    Read more critical appreciation of Timothy Adès’s work.

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