Thomas Ernest Hulme (16 September 1883 – 28 September 1917) was an English writer who, during his informal tenure from 1909 as critic for The New Age, edited by A. R. Orage, had a notable influence upon modernism.
From about 1907 Hulme became interested in philosophy, translating works by Henri Bergson and sitting in on lectures at Cambridge. He translated Georges Sorel's Reflections on Violence. The most important influences on his thought were Bergson and, later, Wilhelm Worringer (1881-1965), German art historian and critic; and in particular his Abstraktion und Einfühlung (Abstraction and Empathy, 1908).
Hulme developed an interest in poetry, though he did not sustain it longer than a few years. He was made secretary of The Poets' Club, attended by such establishment figures as Edmund Gosse and Henry Newbolt. There he encountered Ezra Pound and F. S. Flint. In late 1908 Hulme delivered his paper A Lecture on Modern Poetry to the club. Robert Frost met Hulme in 1913 and was influenced by his ideas.
Hulme wrote a few verses himself. The Complete Poetical Works of T.E. Hulme was published in The New Age in 1912, consisting of five poems (a sixth was added later). In his critical writings Hulme also influenced T. S. Eliot. He distinguished between Romanticism, a style informed by a belief in the infinite in man and nature, characterised by Hulme as "spilt religion", and Classicism, a mode of art stressing human finitude, formal restraint, concrete imagery and, in Hulme's words, "dry hardness".
Hulme also had a major effect on Wyndham Lewis (quite literally when they came to blows over Kate Lechmere; Lewis ended the worse for it, hung upside down by the cuffs of his trousers from the railings of Great Ormond Street). He championed the art of Jacob Epstein and David Bomberg, and was a friend of Gaudier-Brzeska, as well as being in at the birth of Lewis's literary magazine BLAST and vorticism.
Hulme's politics were conservative, and he moved further to the right after 1911 as a result of contact with Pierre Lasserre, who was associated with Action Française.