Welcome to my website, where you can read about my publications to date, my interests and experiences, my hopes for the future and my ideas. I use the blog to post poetry reviews and short essays on individual poems and collections. There is also a contacts page where you can email me. I’ve spent most of my working life as an English teacher at the Manchester Grammar School. Teaching has been a wonderfully stimulating and rewarding way of life, despite the inhibiting pressure of exams. Now I organise poetry discussion groups, work on the committee of Poets & Players to promote performances of poetry and music in Manchester, write reviews, read more widely and write more of my own poetry. You can link to the Poets & Players website here to see photographs and videos of our events over the last few years. .
Free Saturday Poetry Discussions in the Manchester Buddhist Centre: We have been very fortunate to be offered accomodation in the library at the Manchester Buddhist Centre at 16–20 Turner Street, Manchester M4 1DZ. These are free events and open to anyone who wants to come, but people attending will need to bring their own copies of the poems we discuss. Poets we’ve read and talked about include Alice Oswald, Andrew Marvell, Anne Stevenson, David Constantine, Derek Mahon, Elizabeth Bishop, Fiona Sampson, George Seferis, Jane Draycott, Jo Shapcott, John Donne, Linda France, Michael Longley, Philip Larkin, Rilke, Robin Robertson, Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Tomas Tranströmer, T S Eliot, W B Yeats and W S Merwin.
Saturday 12th March, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: T S Eliot, “The Waste Land” – Manchester Buddhist Centre
You can find the text of “The Waste Land” by clicking here. Please bring a copy along to the session. I’d be grateful if as many people as possible could also bring books of Eliot’s poems if they have them just in case we want to cross refer to other poems but “The Waste Land” itself will be our focus for the whole session. As ever, all are welcome and there’s no need to book.
Saturday 2nd April, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: T S Eliot, “The Waste Land” (2) – Manchester Buddhist Centre
We’ll be discussing “The Waste Land” again, starting with the third section, “The Fire Sermon” and working on from there. People who weren’t at the first session on “The Waste Land” should have no problem picking up threads as we’ll be focusing directly on the passages in front of us and exploring them imaginatively rather than relating them to an academic interpretative framework. However, you should have read the whole poem before coming and bring copies with you. You can find the text of “The Waste Land” by clicking here and listen to Eliot reading it by clicking here. As ever, all are welcome and there’s no need to book.
Saturday 14th May, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: T S Eliot – Manchester Buddhist Centre
Our focus today will be “The Hollow Men” and “Ash Wednesday” by T S Eliot. Please bring texts of both poems – if you don’t have them in book form they’re both widely available on the internet. As ever, the session is free, all are welcome and there’s no need to book. I propose to start by reading straight through “The Hollow Men” and I hope our discussion will be equally open to immediate, intuitive responses and to more academically leaning ones.
Saturday 18th June, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: T S Eliot – Manchester Buddhist Centre
Today I’d like to finish “Ash Wednesday” and if there’s time to look at “Journey of the Magi” and “Marina”. Please bring texts of “Ash Wednesday”, which is widely available on the internet, and “Journey of the Magi”, which is available in the Poetry Archive on the net. If you have a book of Eliot’s poems, please bring it; if you have more than one, bring as many as you have so that people who don’t have “Marina” can borrow it.
As before, I hope our discussion will be open to immediate, intuitive responses, and that people who missed last month’s discussion of the first three poems in “Ash Wednesday” will pick up the threads easily as long as they’ve read those poems.