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Al Alvarez's Biography

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Al Alvarez was born in London on 5 August 1929.

Alvarez was educated at Oundle School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he read English.

He was poetry critic of The Observer from 1956 to 1966 and is a poet and novel writer, but some of his most famous works are in the realm of non-fiction: The Savage God: A Study of Suicide; and Biggest Game in Town, about poker players.

He says of his Penguin anthology, The New Poetry: "I had attacked the British poets' nervous preference for gentility above all else." In her study, The Silent Woman - Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Janet Malcolm provides an analysis of Alvarez and his relationships with Plath and Hughes.

Alvarez's publications include Poker: Bets, Bluffs and Bad Beats (2000), his autobiography Where Did It All Go Right? (first published 1999, Bloomsbury paperback 2002), and Feeding the Rat, the story of climbing legend Mo Anthoine.

According to the aforementioned, Biggest Game in Town, Al Alvarez played poker every Tuesday.

In 2013, he released Pondlife is a journal of his swims since 2002.

Al Alvarez died on 23 September 2019.

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