Phil Kirby was born in Chingford, on the border between London and Epping Forest. He worked in the family business as a carpenter and joiner before studying English and Education at St. Paul’s & St. Mary’s College, Cheltenham, and becoming a teacher. He subsequently taught around the South East and East Midlands before fetching up in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
He began writing poetry very soon after starting his teaching career and discovering Larkin’s Mr. Bleaney in a school anthology. The writing ‘bug’ really took hold from about 1987 onwards, though. After placing a couple of journalistic pieces in a local paper in Kent, and the completion of a manuscript for a children’s novel (now gathering dust in a cupboard), his first published poem appeared in 1991, not long after a move to Derbyshire.
Soon after that, in 1994, Phil won an East Midlands Arts bursary and took part in their ‘New Voices’ reading tour. He ran Waldean Press between 1994-2000, through which his first two pamphlets, Third Person Gossip and Of Silent Houses were published, and also taught many adult writing classes through the WEA. Shoestring Press published his third pamphlet A Bowl of Sky in 1997. Since that time, his work has continued to appear in journals and magazines. His first full collection, Watermarks, from Arrowhead Press, was published in October 2009.
He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Tetbury and, despite all efforts, is still unable to stop working in schools.
Phil's own pamphlets published by Waldean Press are sold out but there are still publications available of work by other poets. Visit the website at Waldean Press.
Purchases can also be made directly from Phil and can be paid to him via PayPal e-mail. e-mail Phil for details.
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