Biography

Dan Burt PhotoDan Burt was born in 1942 in South Philadelphia, background for the first Rocky film, the son of a butcher who left school at thirteen when the Depression began and a mother, a high school graduate, whose family controlled the Tenderloin area of central Philadelphia.

He attended state primary and secondary schools and LaSalle College, a local Christian Brothers college catering to lower middle and working class boys. From his last year in primary school, through college he worked as a butcher after school and on weekends, as well as, in summers, a mate on a sport fishing boat for charter off the New Jersey coast.

From LaSalle he went to Cambridge University to read English in 1964, selected by the Director of English Studies at St. John’s, Hugh Sykes-Davies, as his annual “wild card”. He returned from St. John’s to law school in the US, graduating from Yale in 1969.

Mr. Burt practiced briefly with a large law firm (1969-1971), was special assistant to the Under Secretary of the US Treasury for International Tax Policy (1971-1973), taught at Boston University law school (1973-1974), consulted for a major accounting firm (1974-1975) then founded a law firm with US and Saudi Arabian offices (1975-1979). He sold his interest in this firm in late 1979.

Between 1980 and 1985 he was president of the Capital Legal Foundation, a public policy law firm of a type common in the US at the time, engaged in cultural warfare. He founded his second law firm in 1985 and is its senior partner today. He became chairman/CEO of a US based niche software company in 2007.

In 1994 Mr. Burt moved to London, where he lives today. He took British citizenship in 2001 and renounced his US citizenship in 2005, shortly after George Bush was sworn in as US president for a second time.

His pro bono activities have long included advice and support for schools and museums in the UK. St. John’s made him an honorary fellow in 2001.

His poetry first appeared in journals and periodicals in 2007, including, to date, Poetry Review, PN Review, the Forward Book of Best Poetry 2013, the TLS, the Financial Times, the Sunday Times, the New Statesman, Commonweal and other periodicals. Lintott/Carcanet Press published Searched For Text, a selection of his poems, in 2008. Marlborough Graphics / Lintott Press published Cold Eye, a collaboration with the UK artist Paul Hodgson, in 2010. In April 2011 Lintott/Carcanet published Certain Windows, a new selection of his poetry and prose. More of his poems appeared in a Carcanet anthology, New Poetries 5 (October 2011) and Carcanet published We Look Like This a collected edition of his poetry and prose in the spring of 2012.

The Poetry Archive, the UK based repository for spoken poetry, recorded him reading his work in 2008, and again in 2011, and added it to their on-line archive.

Notting Hill Editions published his memoir You Think It Strange in 2013 and Overlook Press published the US edition in 2015, and Granta excerpted a portion of this memoir in their November on-line edition. The BBC has interviewed him about the memoir in October 2013 (BBC Radio 4 - Midweek) and November 2013 (BBC World Service - Outlook).