Welcome

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, Basil Bunting, 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 and Wallace Stevens.

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

 

 

Saturday 10th November, 10.30am – 12.30 pm: Ezra Pound, some shorter poems – Manchester Buddhist Centre

As ever, entry is free and there is no need to book, but please bring copies of the poems I mention, which you can find by clicking on the poems’ titles.

For anyone thinking of buying a Pound selection that will cover this and next month’s sessions I’d strongly recommend Ezra Pound, New Selected Poems and Translations, edited by Richard Sieburth, because it contains a generous and annotated selection from the Cantos as well as a good selection of the shorter poems. The old Collected Shorter Poems, or the Selected Poems edited by T S Eliot would also be useful for this session, but they don’t include any of the Cantos.

You can find the poems I’d like you to read in advance and bring to this meeting by clicking on the titles: “The Return”, “The Garden”“In a Station of the Metro”“Liu Ch’e”“Fan-Piece for her Imperial Lord”“The Gipsy”, “The River-Merchant’s Wife: a Letter”, “Exile’s Letter”. However, I hope we’ll have enough books between us to look beyond these.

 

Saturday 8th December, 10.30am – 12.30 pm; Ezra Pound, the Cantos: a taster – Manchester Buddhist Centre

Our focus will be on the earliest Cantos, concentrating on looking at how beautiful and effective selected passages are in themselves, rather than on how they fit into the Cantos as a whole. I’ll bring several copies of the first set (A Draft of XXX Cantos) and two copies of the Pisan Cantos, as well as the Sieburth selection of Pound, so we can range a bit more widely than the five Cantos I’ve given links to. Please do read those five. Sieburth supplies notes to the ones in his selection and you’ll find notes accompanying a couple of the links I give but there’s no need to read them. If you do start reading the notes, please stop as soon as you feel they’re distracting you from the poetry!

Here are the links. I’m particularly interested in the second, third and fourth Cantos.
Canto 1, Canto 2, Canto 3, Canto 4, Canto 17
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As always, entry is free and there’s no need to book, though if you do make a donation to the Buddhist Centre it will be gratefully received.