Gary Bills was born in Wordsley, in the West Midlands, and currently lives in Herefordshire.
He has published two poetry collections, which are The Echo and the Breath (Peterloo Poets, 2001) and The Ridiculous Nests of the Heart (bluechrome, 2003).
In 2005, he edited the anthology, The Review of Contemporary Poetry for bluechrome, sold on behalf of the Stroke Association.
He has won various prizes, including Poetry on the Lake’s Bill Winter Award in 2003, for the best short poem.
Gary is a graduate of Durham University, where he studied English Language and Medieval Literature.
“There is something ancient yet bang up to date about Bills’ poems.. They will surely find a special pigeon hole in the English canon.”
The Black Mountain Review. Volume 11.
“Bills has an inspirational drive that is both effortless and lucid, creating a new poetic reality…a superficial reading would miss the enormous range of Gary Bills’s subject matter and his uniquely assured, modern and lyrical voice.”
Will Daunt, Envoi.
“When I am given poems to review, I list the most notable: I’ve chosen thirty-three, which speaks for itself….This is his second collection. Such a lengthy one must stem from the most intense immersion in his work, while living to the full as husband, father, friend, salaried slave and eternal student. It’s hauntingly beautiful, an intriguing collection; something worth finding and holding onto.”
R G Felton, South
“It should be obvious from poems like these that, quite regardless of any significance one may attach to the poetic traditions of his part of the world, Gary Bills has made impressive strides towards achieving a distinctive voice and identity - ones that are his alone."
"Technically, he is faultless, and his knowledge and use of metrics makes him something of a rarity with regard to his contemporaries. This, combined with a painter’s eye for detail means that his work has that unity of eye and ear, image and music that gives his readers an exquisite doubling of sensory effects. I have only experienced a similar unity when reading the poetry of Lorca.”
Kevin Bailey, HQ
“A genuine new voice that stands out from the crowded world of British poetry.”
Gary Bills' The Ridiculous Nests of the Heart is a very impressive collection. I came to it with a degree of suspicion, expecting to find something portentous. I have to say it grew on me and, as it did, my admiration grew...Bluechrome can certainly be proud of having published this collection...I am tempted to say he is restoring to poetry something that went missing when laissez-faire attitudes took hold: a proper seriousness, a genuine respect for craft, the feeling that poetry is more than mere self-expression. Bills may perhaps reconnect us with the powerful tradition and still-available techniques of English poetry. The biographer of Alexander Pope, Maynard Mack wrote, "Particulars - ephemera - the flotsam and jetsam of experience are all fascinating but have value for the artist only in so far as they can be organised in a patterned whole". Bills is not just a poet, he is an artist. He controls an enviable range of forms - from haiku to ballad, from sonnet to free verse - and his measure is that he is comfortable in all of them, using them, not being used by them, to tell us interesting things about the world.
Matt Simpson. Stride. 2004.
It often doesn't mean very much these days to say someone has "talent", but Gary Bills really has. He is a concerned craftsman, working in the old, timeless traditions of English poetry, like Edward Thomas; yet not like anybody, only himself, in his constant move through different language registers with effortlessness that one can only admire...his ear for both demotic speech and traditional metre is excellent.
These are poems to read again and again.
Vera Rich. Manifold Review. Winter 2003/4.
Ridiculous Nests of the Heart",
Echo and the Breath",
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