Some information about people who've written for Natterjack

 Philip Burton was short-listed for The Kent and Sussex Poetry Competition in 2009 and recently won second prize in the ManyHands Café poetry competition, in Manchester. Philip was a Lancaster litfest prize-winner in 2005. He is widely published in literary magazines including Stand, PN Review, Smiths Knoll, The London Magazine, and in anthologies for children. His fourteenth pamphlet collection is, To Calm my Journey Northward  (from brookware) which gained an Assent (formerly Poetry Nottinham) recommendation, and will be reviewed in the Summer edition. As Pip The Poet he is available to schools –


Paul Ellis was once a sculptor but switched to writing when he ran out of storage space. He’s a jazz lover, and has worked with the homeless and alcoholics.


He says this about his sequence "You were always wrong":

"Basically what I'm trying to express here, with some autobiographical detail, is that the historical record- sanctioned by tradition and popular myth – isn't necessarily correct, or at best, it is written like Bede or Tacitus from the perspective of the cultural victors and is hence `selective`.
When our national identity is built on these legendary half-truths, serious pre-conceptions emerge over time. Glorifying violence historically, then institutionalising it, remains key to maintaining the current political/economic order, in my view, and I have long felt compelled to address the record as well as the illusion it helps perpetuate."





Andy Dwyer is well-known around the folk club circuit as both organiser and performer, and is also a campaigner around green issues.



Val Chapman says she’s inspired to write mainly from her own life experiences, and often late at night when she has trouble sleeping. She writes “to focus all my random thoughts into something worthwhile”. She’s been a member of writers’ groups, but has published little.


David Rose died unexpectedly on New Year’s Eve, 2009. He was a talented writer, as well as an energetic campaigner around community issues, and a much-missed friend. His wife Sue has chosen these two poems for publication on this website. Other poems and prose by David are now available as a Natterjack ebook and DVD package: see the poetry section for details.

Jo Harding helps run a Stanza of the Poetry Society, in the Ribble Valley, and for many years has been organising readings and workshops, generally combining poetry with food. He’s also been very actively promoting this website, for which, many thanks.



Catie Smith is a member of the Lancashire Writing Hub and is working towards her first novel. She has a blog at:





Kathleen Bell has published poetry in Poetry Nottingham and The Coffee House as well as cards in the series Door-to-Everywhere. As a public sector worker she "anticipates a swift transition to the role of Welfare Scrounger" and hopes this will not limit her ability to fence epee and supply her cat with food.

 Gillian Hesketh says:

“I love the idea that a poem can be many things to many people, it can be a story written in verse, convey information, portray vivid images, be lyrical, an idea, opinion, experience; a declaration of love, it can uphold identity, gender, culture, sexual orientation ... but that poetry is definitely about feelings and emotion. Writing poetry can be constructive and uplifting. It can help us assert our own identity, authority, ideas, opinons, express our emotional selves, even be a place to rant. Didn't primitive man chant to externalise emotions for the tribe’s well-being?

As a window into our inner selves, writing poetry can take us forward. Let yourself free on the page I say, it’s a place to grow ideas and hope.”

Gillian also runs two blogs: and








Avril Scott is from Sunderland and currently lives in Preston. She is taking an MA at Edge Hill, and is involved in writers’ workshops in Lancaster. She also teaches Creative Writing, and has had a monologue performed on BBC Radio North (1997).



Julie Erwin describes herself as "a latecomer to writing". She is close to completion of her first novel. 


Norman Hadley has published poetry books including A Whoop above the Dust, Stinging the Sepia, Perspectives, and On Pendle Hill – this last in partnership with the photographer Andy Carson. He also writes fiction, and is an active member of writers’ groups such as Spotlight and Outspoken. He says: "I'm not quite reconciled to the fact that the quickest way to the truth is making stuff up. But I'm slowly getting there." He has a website at



David Riley says:

"I've recently written poetry and non-fiction for Wordpool, Blackpool's celebration of literature in 2010. In 2009 I won the Grand Words one act play competition run in association with the Grand Theatre Blackpool for north west writers in England. The play went on to be produced at the Preston one act festival and Preston Tringe, 2010."


John Lavan is a small businessman from Yorkshire with a 10 year passion for poetry. His main inspiration comes from his son, Andrew, who has Down's Syndrome. He has won prizes in poetry competitions and been published in several magazines. See for samples.

Ronnie Edmondson was born & raised in Clitheroe, moved to South London (the Oval, Waterloo, Brixton), and is now living back up in east Lancashire. He says:
“I once read a short piece called "Statements on poetics" by Charles Olson about free verse. It inspired me to write, it became my starting point. "Speech forms that are real rather than literary forms", that's what set me free on the page to versify.”

Trevor Meaney says:  "My poetry is performanced based, high energy, northern, fast paced and often contains swearing (sorry!). It's also a mixture of humour, social observation, some politics, justice/injustice, my love for chicken and an inspirational hoover."

Peter Street was born in Wigan in 1948. He left school barely able to read and write. He has worked as a baker and confectioner, gravedigger/exhumer, Mediterranean Chef and Youth Worker. He is also a qualified Arborist.
He has published five collections of poetry. His poetry has been broadcast on TV and radio, and he has been Writer-in-Residence in many schools, colleges and prisons. He is a recent recipient of a Royal Literary Fund Grant.

A review of his work can be found here

Rachel McGladdery is a poet living and writing in rural Lancashire. She has 4 children and a growing menagerie. She writes in an intimate style about the things and people that surround her. Rachel regularly performs at live literature events around the North West and has both poetry and reviews widely published online, in anthologies (the latest being Best of Manchester Poets vol 2) and in magazines. She won the Lennon Poet 2010 competition, awarded by Carol Ann Duffy, and enjoys facilitating school workshops. She is currently working on her first collection and poetry source material for use in schools and would love to hear from prospective publishers willing to offer HUGE sums of money in order to stop her from having to get a proper job. She dislikes talking about herself in the 3rd person.

After working abroad in Libya, Spain and Mexico, Jenny Palmer taught English to immigrants for the I.L.E.A. and to overseas students in various London universities. In her spare time, while working at King’s College, London, she co-edited four anthologies of short stories by women, published by the Women’s Press and Serpent’s Tail. She returned to the North West in 2008 and has since published her childhood memoir called ‘Nowhere better than home,’ six chapters of which appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post. She is a member of Clitheroe Writers’ Group, The Poetry Stanza and the Ribble Rousers.  Her poems have appeared in magazines and in anthologies produced by Clitheroe Books Press. Her short stories have appeared in Green Silk Journal and on the Cafe lit. web magazine and her local history articles in the Lancashire History Quarterly.

David Kitchener teaches at the University of Bolton. He lists his research interests as nicotine, caffeine, and waiting.

Hedwind says: "I (Hedwind) prefer to stay anonymous due to the belief that words should speak for themselves and not be judged upon by the author. I have been writing for most of my adult life and have, over the past four years, studied at both college and university the craft of short story writing. Poetry, lyric, and other forms of verse produced are created merely on a therapeutic level, however, the short fiction, I would love to see in print or on film sometime in the future. I also paint canvas art."


You never know where you are with Dodgy Dan. He probably was never really a jockey, though he certainly knows the horse-racing business. He’s a merciless exposer of charlatan tipsters and scamsters, though he seems to do all right with his own gambling.

Nils Corundum says nobody would be interested in his biographical details, and he’s probably right.



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