John Lehmann: Visionary Poet and Publisher

Rosamond Lehmann with her brother John and Lytton Strachey

Born on this day June 2, 1907, John Lehmann was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He started his career as an assistant editor for Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press, where he honed his skills as a publisher and editor. In 1939, Lehmann founded his own publishing house, John Lehmann Limited, which quickly earned a reputation for its commitment to avant-garde literature and the promotion of new and talented writers.

As a poet, John Lehmann’s work was characterized by his keen observation of the human condition and his ability to portray it with simplicity and elegance. His poems were often infused with a sense of melancholy and nostalgia, reflecting the turbulent times he lived in. Despite facing criticism for being too conventional in his style, Lehmann’s poetry has stood the test of time and continues to be appreciated by readers and scholars alike.

However, it was in his capacity as a publisher that John Lehmann truly left his mark on modern literature. He not only published works by prominent authors such as Christopher Isherwood, W.H. Auden, and Stephen Spender but also nurtured the careers of several young writers who would go on to achieve great success. Some notable examples include Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin, and Rosamond Lehmann.

In 1936, John Lehmann founded the literary magazine New Writing, which became a platform for showcasing the works of both established and emerging talents. The magazine played a crucial role in shaping modern literature by providing a space for writers to experiment with new styles, techniques, and subject matter. Under Lehmann’s guidance, New Writing featured works that challenged conventional norms and paved the way for new literary movements such as modernism and postmodernism.

John Lehmann was a multifaceted artist whose impact on the world of literature cannot be overstated. As a poet, his work captured the nuances of human emotion with great insight and sensitivity. As a publisher, he was instrumental in shaping modern literature by promoting groundbreaking authors and providing a platform for literary experimentation. Through his unwavering dedication to the arts, John Lehmann has left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and influence writers and readers around the world.

Indelible Words

Indelible Markings in the Sand
Written by God, Read by Man
Spoken by Many, Heard by Few
Words I longed to Whisper to You.

-John Lehmann

Curated by Jennifer


  1. Well shared šŸ‘šŸ˜Š

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