About the Author
Walter de la Mare was born on April the 25th, 1873 in Charlton, Kent. He attended St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School, London before working for the Anglo-American (Standard) Oil Company in London as a clerk in the department of statistics, between the years 1890 and 1908. Subsequently, de la Mare was able to concentrate on writing full-time thanks to the offer of a government pension. The Listeners and Other Poems, published in 1912, established his reputation, and his best-known children's book, Peacock Pie appeared in 1913. He received many awards for his stories, poetry and criticism, including the Order of Merit in 1953. He died in 1956 and is buried at St. Paul's Cathedral, London.
Matthew Sweeney was born in Co Donegal, Ireland in 1952. He lived for many years in London and has lately been spending time in Romania and Germany. He has published a number of books of poetry and his most recent collection is Sanctuary (Cape, 2004). He also writes poetry and fiction for children - including Up on the Roof: New & Selected Poems (Faber, 2001), and a novel, Fox (Bloomsbury, 2002). A German translation of the latter came out from Berlin Verlag in October 2003, while books of poems in translation have appeared over the last few years in Romania, Mexico, Latvia and Slovakia, with further books in progress in Holland, Germany, Italy and Japan. A co-author of Writing Poetry (Hodder, 1997 - updated 2003), Matthew is also an editor of several anthologies, including The New Faber Book of Children's Poems (Faber, 2001).