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, tutor for the Poetry School, 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, Edwin Morgan, 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 8th April, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: poems from The Occupant, the new collection by Jane Draycott – Manchester Buddhist Centre

I hope some people will bring copies of the collection, allowing us to move beyond the poems available on the internet by sharing books with each other. However, you can access the following poems that I’d like to discuss by clicking on their titles: Italy to Lord, The Stare, “On the Lane to Death” and “Song for Wulf” (all on Jane Draycott’s own website), and “Lake” (as “le Lac”), “The Hill Above Harlech: William Nicholson 1917”, “Atlas”, and “Where Is Your Banksman?” on a Liverpool University pdf. Other poems are available but I’m not sure whether permission has been obtained for posting them so I can’t give links to them.

Poems I’d ideally like to discuss that don’t seem to be available on the net include “Loll-Head Lettuce”, “The Watchie”“The Return”, “Lent”, “Prospect”, “The Dictionary Game” and “Remembered Land: Victoria Crowe 1999”. If enough people have books we will look at several of these.

As usual, there’s no need to book and entry is free but please bring at least the texts I’ve provided links to.


Saturday 20th May, 10.30am – 12.30 pm: Poems by Jane Draycott (2)

I would like to look at a number of poems from Draycott’s collections The Night Tree and Over. Click on the titles to find links to these poems:

“What is held here”; “The Lost Girls” (the first poem in the sequence “Matchless”); No. 3 from Uses for the Thames; “River”  (all from The Night Tree), and

“The Square”; “In the same way”; “Pass”; “Turquoise”( go to page 47);  “Whiskey”; “After the meal” ; “In the same way” (all from Over).

Please bring these poems if you come to the discussion. There are a number of others that I’d like to look at if there’s time. We’ll be able to do so if some people bring their own copies of The Night Tree, Over and / or The Occupant: Draycott is very approachable and we can share books.