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In parenthesis

In Parenthesis

Douglas Cleverdon, 1903-1987, was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford. He began his career as proprietor of a bookselling and publishing firm in Bristol, England, in the 1920s. His first publication, Eric Gill's Art and Love in 1927, was printed at the Golden Cockerel Press. In 1929 he published Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by David Jones, which in 1964 he re-issued with a new introduction by Jones as the first of his Clover Hill Editions under the imprint of Chilmark Press, New York. Other fine press books followed and he later published several books under his own name. His career for the British Broadcasting Corporation began with free-lance work as an actor and writer, but after his bookshop was bombed during World War II, he went to work for the BBC full-time as a producer with the Features Department. Following the war he worked mainly on productions for the Third Programme until his retirement in 1969. Many of his productions were submitted as Italia Prize entries, the most famous of which to win that honor was Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, written specifically for the BBC and with Cleverdon often described as its midwife. Other particularly fine productions included In Parenthesis and The Anathemata, by David Jones, both of which used the full technical resources of radio acoustics and effects. Cleverdon also devised and produced poetry festivals and recitals, and directed several stage productions of "Under Milk Wood."
He produced programmes featuring Max Beerbohm, Ted Hughes, Stevie Smith and many other poets. Sylvia Plath wrote Three Women: A Poem for Three Voices for Cleverdon, in March 1962. There are at least 232 scripts produced by Cleverdon archived.

Radio Plays[]

  • The Hilda Tablet Plays
  1. A Very Great Man Indeed by Henry Reed 1953
  2. The Private Life of Hilda Tablet by Henry Reed 1954
  3. Emily Butter by Henry Reed (14 November 1954)
  4. A Hedge, Backwards by Henry Reed (29 February 1956)
  5. The Primal Scene, As It Were by Henry Reed (11 March 1958)
  6. Not a Drum Was Heard by Henry Reed (6 May 1959)
  7. Musique Discrète by Henry Reed (27 October 1959)