Poet profile

Profiles of our poets.

Kaaren Whitney

Kaaren WhitneyKaaren Whitney, a professional homeopath, is a Poetry Advocate encouraging all to do with poetry.  Born in the USA, she gained insight into the land, people and herself while living in London and for the last 30 years in Suffolk.  Here she has been ‘educated’ by patients, life and being a guardian for her Tree circle and Labyrinth throughout the seasons.

Originally inspired by Mike Bannister she continued her writing in a group run by Michael Laskey and subsequently joined additional groups to improve and strengthen her poetry. A frequenter of many of the Suffolk Poetry Cafes she also reads on occasion in USA.  Her book of poems, all illustrated with colour photographs by Jim Nind, is The Turning of the Year: A Book for 8 Seasons (Solstice-Equinox Press 2016). Kaaren can be contacted at kaaren.whitney@icloud.com

Caroline Gill

Caroline GillCaroline Gill was Overall Winner in the inaugural Zoological Society of London Poetry Competition in 2014. She came 3rd in the 2017 Write Out Loud ‘Milestone’ Competition, judged by Brian Patten. Three poems feature in The Book of Forms, A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms (Lewis Putnam Turco, University Press of New England, 2011). Caroline’s archaeologist husband, David Gill, is also a member of the Society.
Publication: The Holy Place, a chapbook co-authored with John Dotson, and published in 2012 by Peter Thabit Jones (The Seventh Quarry, Wales) with Stanley H. Barkan (Cross-Cultural Communications, New York).


Rob Lock

Rob LockRob Lock has been writing for over twenty years and has benefitted greatly from membership of the East Suffolk Writing Group and subsequent contact with Michael Laskey, whose Garlic Press published a pamphlet for him. He was particularly pleased when a reviewer described this as being ‘alive with both love and the ordinary, with warmth and depth… levity never far away.’ That’s what he aims for.

Fran Reader

Fran Reader

Fran Reader (originally an ‘Essex girl’) has been writing poetry since the age of eight and has lived in Suffolk since 1990. Since retiring from a career in gynaecology she has reinvented herself through her love of poetry by gaining a BA in English Literature with Creative Writing through the Open University. She is now undertaking an MA in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry – also with the Open University. Since Autumn 2017 Fran has been Editor of Suffolk Poetry Societies Twelve Rivers Magazine.

Helen Burke

Helen Burke

Helen Burke has been a widely published poet for 45 years. Her collected poems Today the Birds Will Sing is available from Valley Press. She is published also in USA, where she has read as well as Europe. She is an acclaimed visual artist and hosts a radio show on poetry for East Leeds fm radio. She holds a masters degree in literature. 2 poet laureates comment favourably on her work.

Tim Lenton

Tim LentonTim Lenton is a retired newspaper columnist and sub-editor who lives in his home town of Norwich. He won the Fish International Poetry Prize in 2007 and has published a number of books of poetry, including collections of tanka and photographs in collaboration with Joy McCall. He publishes poetry on his website, www.back2sq1.co.uk, and reads regularly at the Seagull and Pinky’s. Recent books include Waving from a Distance, containing poems written on every day of Lent, and The Road Ends – poems and pictures of Iona. He is married to Dot – a violinist who occasionally accompanies his self-penned songs at the Seagull.

Leslie Cuthbert

Leslie CuthbertWith a background as a Criminal Defence Solicitor-Advocate Leslie is currently engaged in a number of diverse roles including work in a judicial capacity, as an investigator and as a trainer. He is the author of two books: Effective Interviewing for Disciplinary, Grievance and Complaints investigations and 365 Daily Advocacy Tips and tries to write a haiku a day!

Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Sue Wallace-ShaddadSue Wallace-Shaddad was born and brought up in Suffolk and returned to live in the county 15 years ago after many years abroad with the British Council. She retired in 2014 and is now Secretary of Suffolk Poetry Society. Sue has had poems published by The Dawntreader, Ink, Sweat and Tears and in several anthologies. She was commended in the Poetry Space 2017 competition and a runner up in the Alder Hey Hospital competition 2017.

Mervyn Linford

Mervyn LinfordMervyn Linford is a poet, author and publisher – Littoral Press. He has published 12 collections of poetry of his own and 25 collections for other poets. He has also published 10 works of prose most of which deal with various aspects of the natural environment. He has been published in many magazines including: Acumen, P N Review, The London Magazine, Outposts, Orbis, Staple, The Countryman and Envoi. More details of Mervyn and the Littoral Press can be found at: Littoral Press

Ellen McAteer

Ellen McAteerEllen McAteer’s poetry pamphlet Honesty Mirror won first prize in the New Writer Magazine for 2013, and she was shortlisted for the Baker Prize in the same year. A prizewinning songwriter, she has had poetry and prose published in magazines and anthologies, and a play at the Edinburgh Fringe recorded for radio. She is the founder of tell it slant poetry bookshop in Glasgow, and a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art. Ellen was Director of the Poetry Trust, and directed the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival for 2015. She was a co-curator for Poetry in Aldeburgh 2016 and 2017.