Born 1936. Mike Bannister grew up in the village of Alvechurch in Worcestershire; a child of the Radio Age. Following military service, he worked in Community Schools in Telford, East London and Bradford; all the time keeping close links with quiet places in Wales, Drakes Island, East Anglia, The Pennine Hills, Scotland’s West Coast, The Hebrides, Provence, Brittany and Andalucia. In 1992, Mike retired with his wife Ann, to focus on writing poetry. In that year, his poem The Fourth Warming was nominated for the Housman Society’s Poetry Prize. Mike was Chair of the Suffolk Poetry Society 1997 – 2002 and later President.
Mike’s Poems have appeared in several magazines including Other Poetry, Envoi, The Long Poem Magazine, Brittle Star, The Interpreters House, Poetic Licence and The London Magazine and have earned several awards, including in 2009 The George Crabbe Memorial Prize for The Second Scrivener. Satin Moth appears in Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt Poetry) He is currently Chair and Convenor of ‘The Café Poets’ in Halesworth, Suffolk, a platform and a listening post for working poets across Norfolk and Suffolk.
In 2003 Greenstreet Fragments was published by Orphean Press In 2007, his second collection, Pocahontas in Ludgate was published by Arrowhead Press. Orinsay Poems was published in 2012 by Orphean Press. His fourth anthology The Green Man – Selected Poems is under preparation for The Journal of Comparative Literature, University of Bucharest.
Northside of Sainte Victoire, the heat
has bleached out all the meadow-grass;
small snails, fixed in the act of finding water,
hang, like chalk rosaries, from dead white stems.
Along Les Maquisards nothing is said of the house,
its walls, tower, lawn, cedars, the not-quite-audible
roar of the force-field, where that strange meteor
came in a rush of thunderlight to burrow under.
Here is sown the last calx of a little bull-god
part man part sun-fire worker, a graver of truths
from bright lies, who roiled to the heart’s deep,
undermining all previous art.
South towards Aix, day and night the forest burns.
A goat man comes down; his random herd
ringing with soft bronze, a knell for our peasant king
in exile still, sleeping easy under the dry hill.