Steve Griffiths

Not a household name. He’s a poet, currently living in Shropshire, who’s had a long and successful career, writing in London and in Wales before moving into this part of the world. I’ve known him a while, and was delighted to go to the launch of his latest collection this week. He’s been writing for forty years, has had seven previous collections, and this is very much a “greatest hits.” Hours of going through old poems, sometimes rewriting them, starting off with a massive pile which is then trimmed down to a snappy 230 pages (still huge for a poetry collection). It’s partly that he’s a really decent guy - relaxed, friendly and brutally honest about himself and the mistakes he’s made. But it’s also the range of the work - personal and political, serious and funny, natural observation and historical research. I loved the reading, bought the copy with no hesitation at all, and ever since have been steadily reading my way through it, a few pages at a time.