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 9th September, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: Keats’ major odes – Manchester Buddhist Centre

The poems we’ll look at today are the “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, the “Ode to a Nightingale”, the “Ode on Melancholy” and “To Autumn”. Clicking on each title will take you to the Poetry Foundation page for that poem.

As usual, there’s no need to book and entry is free but please bring the four poems I’ve provided links to, whether as print-outs or in books. It would be useful if people who have collections or selections of Keats’s work brought them so that we can range more widely if the flow of discussion gives us a chance to.


Saturday 21st October, 10.30am – 12.30 pm:

Ian Pople has very kindly agreed to chair the meeting on the 21st October.

He’s asked me to pass on two links to poems.
The first is to the Poetry Foundation section on Lowell:

Click on See all poems by Robert Lowell, and when you’ve done that on Show more. There’s a rich feast of material. My personal favourites would be “For the Union Dead”, “My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereux Winslow”, “SKUNK HOUR”, which Ian has particularly mentioned as wanting to discuss, and – for a contrast with the conversational style Lowell uses in those – the grandly rhetorical “The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket”.

The second link is to the Guardian Poem of the Week and a lovely little late-life meditation on writing, “Epilogue”:

Please bring the particular poems I’ve mentioned, and any other poems from the Lowell selection on the Poetry Foundation site that you particularly want to discuss.


Saturday 11th November, 10.30am – 12.30 pm: