Bill Griffiths (
August 20, 1948– September 13, 2007) was a poetand Anglo-Saxon scholar associated with the British Poetry Revival.
Griffiths was born in
Kingsbury, Middlesex. [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/bill-griffiths-402904.html Bill Griffiths - Obituaries, News - Independent.co.uk ] ] As a teenager, he became a Hells Angel, and his experiences with bikers provided material for many of his early poems. From 1971, these poems were published in "Poetry Review", under the editorship of Eric Mottram, and by Bob Cobbing's Writers Forum. He also collaborated on a number of performance poetrypieces with Cobbing and others.
Griffiths soon started his own imprint, Pirate Press, which published work by himself and other like-minded poets. In addition to Cobbing and other Writers Forum poets, Griffiths listed his early influences as
Michael McClure, Muriel Rukeyser, John Keats, George Crabbe, Gerard Manley Hopkinsand Old English poetry.
In 1987, he obtained a Ph.D. in Old English from
King's College London. He published a number of editions and translations of Old English texts.
Griffiths was a prolific poet who published widely in Britain and the
United States. In later years he lived in Seaham, County Durham, and ran Amra Press, which published his poetry and books of local studies.
In 2000 he was commissioned to catalogue the archive of the
Northern Sinfoniaand to produce a commemorative book about the orchestra. Two years later he organised an exhibition in his adopted home of Seahamwhich was seen by the Queen on her Golden Jubilee Tour.
His books of poetry from other publishers include "Rousseau and the Wicked" (Invisible Books, London, 1996), "Etruscan Reader 5" (with
Tom Raworthand Tom Leonard) (Etruscan Books, Buckfastleigh, 1997) "Nomad Sense" (Talus Editions, London, 1998), "A Book of Spilt Cities" (Etruscan Books, 1999), "Ushabtis" (Talus, 2001) and "Durham and other sequences" (West House Books, 2002). A substantial collection of his work was also published in Future Exiles (Paladin 1992).
*William Rowe (Ed.), "The Salt Companion to Bill Griffiths" (
Salt Publishing, 2007)
* [http://pjoris.blogspot.com/2007/09/bill-griffiths-1948-2007.html Nomadics: Bill Griffiths (1948-2007)] A tribute by poet
Pierre Joris: this piece includes the opening section of Griffith's "Cycles on Dover Borstal" (1974), which Joris published in a magazine he edited in the early 1970's called "SIXPACK".
* [http://pjoris.blogspot.com/search/label/Bill%20Griffiths Death of poet and a scholar: Bill Griffiths] an article from a British (Newcastle) paper "The Journal" (reprinted on Pierre Joris's blog).
* [http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com/2007/09/bill-griffiths-1948-2007.html Bill Griffiths (1948-2007)] this "Cyber-
tombeau" at Silliman's Blog by poet Ron Sillimanincludes comments, tributes, and links
* [http://omoopart3.blogspot.com Tribute by poet Bill Sherman]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2174637,00.html obituary at "The Guardian": 22 September 2007] a piece by William Rowe
* [http://tomraworth.com/bgsea.html Raworth's cyber-tombeau for Griffiths] extensive links, photos, and tributes to Griffith at British poet
Tom Raworth's web page
* [http://www.pnreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?file=/home/pnreview/public_html/members/pnr179/reports/179rp03.txt Another tribute] an obituary/memoir by friend
John Muckleat PN Review
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