The Bookseller – Rights – Collected poems of J R R Tolkien to be published for first time

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HarperCollins will publish The Collected Poems of J R R Tolkien, edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G Hammond, in September 2024, the first time all the author’s poems will appear in one volume. 

HC, which holds world all-language rights to Tolkien’s works, said: “Poetry was the first way in which Tolkien expressed himself creatively and through it the seeds of his literary ambition would be sown.” One of Tolkien’s  poems “The Voyage of Éarendel the Evening Star”, begun in 1914, is where the “Silmarillion” first appears and both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings “are enriched with poems both humorous and haunting, magical and moving”. Tolkien scholars Scull and Hammond will provide analysis of each poem. 

Scull and Hammond were hired for the project by Christopher Tolkien’s, J R R Tolkien’s son and executor of his literary estate until Tolkien died in 2020. They said: “Charged at first to review only his early poems, we soon saw the benefits of examining the entire poetic opus across six decades, vast though it is with hundreds of printed and manuscript sources…Not long before his death, we were able to send Christopher a trial portion of the book, which he praised as ‘remarkable and immensely desirable’.”

Chris Smith, publishing director, added: “Poetry runs like a vein of mithril through all the books that J R R Tolkien wrote. He delighted in language and storytelling, and the almost 200 poems contained in this collection reveal him at his creative best in verse. Within this new three-volume set, there are worlds in miniature to be discovered and revelled in, populated with unforgettable characters and settings both familiar and full of wonder.” 

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