Bill Griffiths

Bill Griffiths (August 20, 1948 – September 13, 2007) was a poet and Anglo-Saxon scholar associated with the British Poetry Revival.

Griffiths was born in Kingsbury, Middlesex. [ [ Bill Griffiths - Obituaries, News - ] ] 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 poetry pieces 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 Hopkins and 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 Sinfonia and to produce a commemorative book about the orchestra. Two years later he organised an exhibition in his adopted home of Seaham which 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 Raworth and 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)

External links

* [ 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".
* [ Death of poet and a scholar: Bill Griffiths] an article from a British (Newcastle) paper "The Journal" (reprinted on Pierre Joris's blog).
* [ Bill Griffiths (1948-2007)] this "Cyber-tombeau" at Silliman's Blog by poet Ron Silliman includes comments, tributes, and links
* [ Tribute by poet Bill Sherman]
* [,,2174637,00.html obituary at "The Guardian": 22 September 2007] a piece by William Rowe
* [ Raworth's cyber-tombeau for Griffiths] extensive links, photos, and tributes to Griffith at British poet Tom Raworth's web page
* [ Another tribute] an obituary/memoir by friend John Muckle at PN Review

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