William Oxley was born in Manchester. A poet and philosopher, he has also worked as accountant, part-time gardener, and actor. He divides his time between London and South Devon.
His poems have been widely published throughout the world, in magazines and journals as diverse as The New York Times and The Formalist (USA), The Scotsman, New Statesman, The London Magazine, Stand, The Independent, The Spectator and The Observer. Following the publication of a number of his works on the Continent in the ’eighties and ’nineties, he was dubbed ‘Britain’s first Europoet’ He has read his work on UK and European radio and is the only British poet to have read in Shangri-la, (Nepal). Among his recent books of poetry have been Collected Longer Poems (Salzburg University Press, 1994), and Reclaiming the Lyre: New and Selected Poems (Rockingham Press, 2001).
A former member of the General Council of the Poetry Society, he is consultant editor of Acumen. The founder of the Long Poem Group, he co-edits its newsletter; and in 1999 his autobiography No Accounting for Paradise came from Rockingham Press. He was Millennium Year poet-in-residence for Torbay in Devon. A limited edition print employing lines from his epic, A Map of Time, was chosen by the Dept. of Cartography, University of Wisconsin to use, with appropriate illustration, in their Annual Broadsheet for 2002. Another of his long poems, Over the Hills of Hampstead, was awarded first prize by the on-line long poem magazine, Echoes of Gilgamesh.
He has co-edited the anthology Modern Poets of Europe (Spiny Babbler, Nepal 2004); and in the autumn of 2004, Hearing Eye published Namaste his Nepal poems, and Bluechrome published his London Visions in Spring 2005. A study of his poetry, The Romantic Imagination, came out in 2005 from Poetry Salzburg; and a fine limited edition of his Poems Antibes was launched in December 2006 in France. In 2008 he received the Torbay ArtsBase Award for Literature.