Nathaniel Tarn

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Nathaniel Tarn (born 1928 in Paris) is an American poet, essayist, anthropologist, and translator. He was born to a French mother and a British father. He lived in Paris until age 7, then in Belgium (Lycée d’Anvers) until age 11.


Tarn was educated at Clifton College, UK and graduated in history and English from King's College, Cambridge. He returned to Paris and, after some journalism and radio work, discovered anthropology at the Musée de l’Homme, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and the Collège de France. A Fulbright grant took him to Yale and the University of Chicago where Robert Redfield sent him to Guatemala for his doctoral fieldwork (1951-2).. He completed this work as a graduate student at the London School of Economics (1953-8).

He emigrated to the United States in 1970 and taught at American universities.


In 1958, a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation administered by the Royal Institute of International Affairs sent him to Burma for 18 months after which he became Lecturer in South East Asian Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London (1960–1967).

Tarn published his first volume of poetry "Old Savage/Young City" with Jonathan Cape, London in 1964; a translation of Pablo Neruda’s “The Heights of Macchu Picchu” in 1968 and began building a new poetry program at Cape. He...
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