Pennine Poets

K E Smith

K E Smith was born in Leeds and went to school there and, later, in Bradford. At Belle Vue Boys' School he became aware that J B Priestley had been a student of the school half a century before and this heightened his own growing love of literature. Going on to study English at New College, Oxford, he was further inspired by his tutor John Bayley.

After a spell in Wales he returned to Yorkshire to teach at the University of Bradford. He joined the Pennine Poets in the 1970s and produced four books of his own poetry in the following decades, aiming to write in a manner at once modern yet accessible. He also became a widely-published literary critic, producing books on Cowper and Blake.

A strong commitment to Yorkshire's writers and language has always been important to him. In the 1990s he was editor of the long-established Yorkshire poetry magazine Pennine Platform, which has had close ties with the Pennine Poets group. Currently he is chairman of the J B Priestley Society for whom he has written several guides to Priestley's work. Most recently, he has focused on writing fiction set in the north of England.

He has recently been appointed the first Director of the English degree programme at the University of Bradford.

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