Friday, 2 October 2009

Margaret Griffiths

When I finally started taking the writing of poetry a bit more seriously, and looking to get work published in magazines and webzines, I was lucky enough to stumble across The Works (originally the Pennine Poetry Works, I think). Poems were workshopped by email, and its great strength was that it had a lot of good poets and perceptive critics to point you in the right direction.

Foremost amongst these was Margaret Griffiths, better known online as Grasshopper (and sometimes just as Maz). She always managed to be scrupulously honest, to push you to revise and hone your poems again and again, without ever giving offence, always a difficult thing to do in a poetry workshop (and even more so online, when the tone of remarks can so easily be misinterpreted).

Very sadly, she died, aged just 62, a couple of weeks back, and was buried this week. The full story is here.

It's heartening to see, both on the comments after the story, and at Eratosphere, that she's so fondly remembered. She was a really fine writer of both formal and free verse, but spent far more time and effort helping improve other people's poetry than trying to get her own published, so it would be great if her work could eventually be collected and published.

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