June English (1936 - 2018)
Biography at last update, 29th July 2017
June English was born in Dover, Kent in 1936. As a mature student, she read English and History at the University of Kent, followed by an MA in Humanities.
Her first collection of poetry, Counting the Spots ,published by Acumen in 2000, was short-listed for the BBC ‘New Voices’ programme. The Sorcerer’s Arc was published by Hearing Eye, London, in 2005 and Sunflower Equations, also by Hearing Eye, in 2008.
Comment on The Sunflower Equations:
June English comes across as a natural poet, that is to say as one whose emotions and recollections seem to find instinctive expression in verse. Sunflower Equations conveys a sense of easy fecundity: there will be a lot more poems where these came from. Meanwhile here is a vivid, entertaining and various collection – one to read with pleasure from cover to cover.
Comment on The Sorcerer's Arc:
John Whitworth, in his brief introduction to this book likens the poetry of June English to that of William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Stevie Smith and Philip Larkin. ‘Not all at once’, he writes, to our relief. What poet could contain that motley array?...She is perhaps like Emily Dickinson in her lighter, more playful moods. There is here and there a colloquial flippancy which reminds me of Larkin, and certainly something of Stevie Smith, and maybe Wendy Cope. The influence of Stevie Smith, or the coincidence of styles, is a certain vulnerability; a casual, seemingly off hand manner of expression and a metrical wobble...
Newcombe, Poetry Nottingham, 3, 2006
June English’s versatility, striking imagery and subtlety of thought make her a poet you can learn from. Her subject matter, like Angela Kirby’s, is not unusual—Home Front memories, love and loss in marriage and family—but it is her shifts between sestinas, villanelles, ballads to freer forms, with both strong rhyming, end-stopped lines and elegiac free-flowing enjambment to provide variety of tone, that is so impressive.
Belinda Cook, North
38, June 2006
".. like Thomas Hardy, writes directly out of personal experience .. at one extreme elegiac and delicate, at the other comic and cheekily indelicate. This is an exuberant collection ..."
Michael Irwin, University of Kent
"..a strong voice, distinctive and unusual"
Some of June's poems have been choreographed..
She founded the Dover and Deal Split the Lark Poetry Festival in 1999. The opportunity to read, study and socialize with professional poets has helped to develop a thriving poetry community in a previously neglected area.
One of the most successful ventures she has undertaken is the provision of Poetry Workshops for children with special needs.
ppf shop online:
"Counting the Spots",
collection: "Seeing it Through",
all poems featured on this site remains with the