Many of you will have heard the sad news that Susan Grindley died on 4th December 2014. Her pamphlet New Reader (published by Rack Press in 2013) was praised for its elegance and craft. Susan began writing poetry in 1997, when she joined Michael Donaghy’s Word Shop at City University. She became an active and enthusiastic participant in the London poetry scene, as both a performer and a supporter of others, making many lasting friendships.
Susan was a founder member of The Group, based at The Poetry Society. She was well read in poetry as well as in wider literature and could spontaneously offer a quote or a useful reference. Other members of the group were impressed by Susan’s ability to give constructive, informed criticism. Her poem, ‘Gobby Deegan’s Riposte’, became the title poem of the pamphlet that The Group produced in 2004 and has delighted audiences at numerous readings. Susan performed her work regularly in London poetry venues and was also well known on the Essex poetry circuit, reading at the Essex Poetry Festival. She built up a reputation as a skilled and meticulous poet, attaining an impressive range of poetry successes and awards. Many of her poems have been published in magazines, such as Magma, Poetry News, and South Bank Poetry and on-line, in Limelight and Nth Position. The title poem of New Reader was highly commended in the Larkin and East Riding Poetry Competition in 2011 and she was also highly commended in The Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition. She was invited to read her work at The Edinburgh Book Festival and the Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Most recently, she featured in the pamphlet Sounds of the Front Bell (Stonewood Press 2014). A review in London Grip points to the poignancy of Susan’s poem, in which she likens Victoria Park to a Chinese landscape:
Next stop, I’m getting off the bus
By the time it pulls away
I shall have disappeared in my grey coat.
Look for my red shoes half way up the picture.
She will be immensely missed by those who knew and loved her and by her audience of poetry readers.
by June Lausch, Valerie Josephs and Annie Freud.