Peter Whigham

Peter George Whigham (1925 – 6 August 1987) was an English poet and translator, widely known for his translation of the poems of Catullus published by Penguin Books in 1966.

Whigham was born in Oxford, where he was largely self-educated. He worked as a gardener, a school teacher, an actor, a newspaper reporter, and a script writer. He was the grandson of General Sir Robert Whigham

In the 1950s, he contributed to The European, a magazine edited by Diana Mosley.

In the early 1960s he moved to Italy to devote himself entirely to writing.

In 1968–69 he was a guest lecturer in poetry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as was Basil Bunting, Fred Turner, and Kenneth Rexroth. His seminar classes were popular among undergraduates new to the experience of living, modern poetry. In the mid-1970s he taught a graduate poetry seminar in the Comparative Literature Department at the University of California, Berkeley.


  • The Blue Winged Bee: Love poems of the VIth Dalai Lama, Anvil (1969), ISBN 0-900977-02-7.
  • Things Common, Properly: Selected Poems 1942 - 1982, Black Swan Books (1984), ISBN 0-933806-21-3.


  • The Poems of Catullus, note on author

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