Simon Fletcher was born in the Wyre Forest, Worcestershire, and is a freelance writer/poet and occasional WEA tutor. These days he lives in Shropshire.
He worked as a newspaper reporter, after university, and then as a teacher of English & Drama for 15 years. Writing his own work though was always uppermost in his mind.
His 1994 collection of poems from Pennine Pens, The Occasions of Love, was admired by Ted Hughes for “the deft fluency, the economy, the pure tone, the pang”. Other collections have followed. For more go to: penninepens.co.uk
Since 1997 he’s worked collaboratively with Debjani Chatterjee and Basir Sultan Kazmi to create an anglicised version of the mushaira, an Indian sub-continent form of multi-lingual poets’ gathering. They have performed all over Britain to good audiences and been invited to Pakistan, India and Norway.
Their collection, A Little Bridge, Pennine Pens, was commended by Chris Meade, Director of the Poetry Society, for travelling “far and wide and deep into places and people”. A second selection of their poetry and translations appeared in Another Bridge, Sahitya Press, Sheffield, 2012.
He has also worked with Basir Sultan Kazmi on ‘translating’ some of his Urdu nazms into English and the product of that labour appeared in Passing Through from Crocus books, Manchester, in 2014.
His e-novel Nanny Knows Best, Pennine Pens, 2002, was launched at the Birmingham Book Festival and is available on Amazon/ Kindle. An eBook version of his poetry pamphlet, illustrated by Ian M. Emberson, The Cherry Trees of Wyre, originally published by Angria Press in 1997, is available in a revised and expanded form (2014) also from Amazon. To purchase go to Pennine Pens’ website (above).
Having worked as literature development officer for Wolverhampton Libraries, 2000-13, he maintains his interest in promoting live literature by putting on regular events in Wolverhampton. City Voices meets on the second Tuesday of the month at the Light House, Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT. For more click here.
Last year Headland Press published his poetry collection Close to Home which elicited the following comment from Neil Leadbeater, writing in Cannon’s Mouth magazine: These are quiet poems, beautifully executed, from a poet who consistently delivers material of a high standard, enjoys his craft and knows the comfort of books.
Simon is currently the manager/editor of Offa’s Press a small press with the ambition of raising the profile of poetry in the West Midlands. It has received some Arts Council support. The Poetry of Shropshire, co-edited with Jeff Phelps, is among several successful titles show-cased at libraries and festivals across the region.