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Peter Bennet

Peter Bennet

Collected Voices

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Peter Bennet was born in Staffordshire in 1942. He went as a scholarship boy to King's School Macclesfield, and then to Manchester College of Art and Design, where he was influenced by Norman Adams and his wife, the poet Anna Adams. He taught in secondary and further education, including work with redundant steelworkers following the closure of Consett Steel Works, and spent sixteen years as Tutor Organiser for Northumberland with the Workers' Educational Association. He gave up painting for writing in 1980 and did a part-time MA at Newcastle University, including a study of W.S.Graham.

Peter Bennet has published collections with Bloodaxe Books and Flambard Press including Border: New & Selected Poems (2013), Goblin Lawn (2005), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, The Glass Swarm (2008), a Poetry Book Society Choice which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and A Game of Bear (2011). He has received major awards from New Writing North and Arts Council England and been a prizewinner in the National and the Arvon International Poetry Competitions, and in the Basil Bunting Awards.

Activities in the period after publication of his first collection

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Describing the writing process

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Discussing his poems and their speakers

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Experience of publishing first poetry collection

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Feelings about being a recipient of Arts Council and New Writing North awards

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Hopes for the archive and his notebooks

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On poetry communities and the Northern Poetry Workshop

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On teaching steelworkers and the beginnings of his writing poetry

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On the relationship between written and performative forms of poetry

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Reflections on Morden Tower and the Newcastle poetry scene

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Reflections on the kindness and support of Flambard Press

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Listen to the full interview