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 and details of future performances. .


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, Edward Thomas, Edwin Morgan, Elizabeth Bishop, Fiona Sampson, George Seferis, Jane Draycott, Jo Shapcott, John Donne, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Linda France, Michael Longley, Philip Larkin, Rebecca Perry, Rilke, Robin Robertson, Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Tomas Tranströmer, T S Eliot, W B Yeats and W S Merwin.

Entry is completely free, but donations of any size to the Buddhist Centre would be appreciated if you felt able to give anything.


Saturday 28th April, 10.30am – 12.30 pm: Karen McCarthy Woolf – Manchester Buddhist Centre

Karen McCarthy Woolf, Imtiaz Dharker and Nick Makoha will be reading at for Poets & Players on the afternoon of the 21st April, and you can find details by clicking here. You can find some of Karen’s poems at Versopolis Review here, on the Forward Arts Foundation here, in Granta here,  and in the Guardian here. Attendance is free and there’s no need to book but please bring a copy of these poems.



Saturday 12th May, 10.30am – 12.30 pm: Ted Hughes – Manchester Buddhist Centre

The poems I’d like to form the core of our discussion are all in both Alice Oswald’s selection of poems by Hughes, A Ted Hughes Bestiary and in Ted Hughes New Selected Poems 1957 – 1994, and most if not all will be available in other selections or online. Would anyone coming to the discussion bring

“The Jaguar”      “The Thought-Fox”      “The Horses”      (in The Hawk in the Rain)
“The Howling of Wolves”     (in Wodwo)
“Crow Tyrannosaurus”       “Crow’s Elephant Totem Song”      (in Crow)
“Swifts”       “A Cranefly in September”      (in Season Songs)
“That Morning”       “An Eel”       “October Salmon”      (in River)
If people bring whatever Hughes books they have we can widen our discussion by sharing them, and of course there are many other fine poems in common to the two selections I’ve drawn my list from. Please have at least the listed poems with you though.



Saturday 16th June, 10.30am – 12.30 pm: Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts – Manchester Buddhist Centre

“Briggflatts” is a poem of 20 pages in the Collected Poems. I’m afraid I haven’t been able to find the whole of it on line, though you can find the first section on the copyright-compliant Poetry Foundation  website by clicking here, and other passages are available elsewhere. If you come to the discussion please bring the whole poem and try to read it in advance. It’s available in Basil Bunting’s Complete Poems (£9.95 on Amazon) and the older Collected Poems, and in Briggflatts Book DVD and CD published by Bloodaxe Books.