Poet profile

Poet profile

Profiles of our poets.

Frank Wood

Frank WoodFrank was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1925. He was a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy during the war and after working in local government for ten years, trained to become a teacher, retiring as Head of English at Orwell High School, Felixstowe in 1984.

Marguerite Wood

Marguerite WoodMarguerite Wood trained as a physiotherapist, working for the NHS for over a decade. She and her husband, Douglas, sadly deceased in 2001, have a son and daughter and five grandchildren.

David Healey

David HealeyDavid Healey was born in 1944 and brought up in Cornwall. He qualified as a doctor at Guys and subsequently worked in Papua New Guinea before returning to become a GP in Suffolk. He’s now involved in wildlife conservation and helping to look after his grandson, Archie, with cerebral palsy; both find their way into his recent poems. His pamphlet Slowing the Afternoon Down was published by The Garlic Press in 2010. He won the Crabbe Poetry Competition in 2014.

Ian Griffiths

Ian GriffithsIan Griffiths
 was born and brought up in Swansea and the Gower, South Wales. He started writing poetry at school and had two poems published in an anthology of Poets of Tomorrow. His current collection of poems Conversations With Birds is intended for publication later this year.

He is currently Chairman of the Suffolk Poetry Society and a frequent attendee at Arlingtons and Browsers café groups.

Anne Boileau

Anne Boileau

Anne Boileau (also known as Polly Clarke) was born in rural Suffolk and has a strong affinity with its ancient landscape, its history and wildlife. As a child she learnt important lessons about social hierarchies, group behaviour and communication from the horses, pigs and chickens on her parents' small farm. An admirer of Ronald Blythe, she sees the special in the every-day and understands the importance of place.  

Mike Bannister

Mike Bannister

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.

Michael Laskey

Michael Laskey

Michael Laskey was born in 1944, read English at St John’s College, Cambridge, and then worked for ten years as a teacher in Spain and England. He has lived in Suffolk since 1978, at first looking after his three sons full time – his wife worked as a GP – and  as they grew up, doing increasing amounts of his own writing as well as freelance work in schools and in the wider community, including undergraduate teaching at UEA and tutoring regularly for the Arvon Foundation. He was one of the founders of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1989, and directed it through its first decade. He also co-founded the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll in 1991 and edited it for fifty issues and twenty-one years until 2012, initially with his friend Roy Blackman and, after his death, with Joanna Cutts. He continues to publish pamphlets both under the Smiths Knoll and his own Garlic Press imprint. In 2012 he edited a 32-page pamphlet The Very Selected Edward Thomas for Smith/Doorstop.

Angela Locke

Angela LockeAngela Locke is a poet, novelist and journalist, living in Cumbria. She has had four poetry collections published. Her novels/non-fiction/travel books (Chatto & Windus, Souvenir, Sphere etc) have been translated all over the world. Her novel, Dreams of the Blue Poppy, draws widely on the experiences of the First World War, the lives of the great plant hunters in the Himalayas and the history of Tibet.

Caroline Gilfillan

Caroline-Gilfillan

Caroline Gilfillan won the Suffolk Poetry Society’s George Crabbe Award in October 2012. Her poetry pamphlet, Yes (Hawthorn Press, 2010) won the East Anglian Book Award for the best poetry collection. Her first full poetry collection, Pepys was published by Hawthorn Press in November 2012. She’s written and, with The Pepys Players, is now performing Meeting Mister Pepys, a spoken-word piece featuring poems from her collection, diary extracts and songs of the period.

James Knox Whittet

James Knox Whittet

James Knox Whittet was born and brought up in the Hebridean island of Islay where his father was the head gardener at Dunlossit Castle. Although he now lives in Norfolk, many of his poems are inspired by his Hebridean childhood. He was educated at Newbattle Abbey College and Cambridge University.