April Eye
Peter Riley’s website


Cover image of Due North by Peter Riley


Due North was published by Shearsman Books in March 2015. The cover photograph is by Richard Gascoigne.

This is the personal website of Peter Riley, who prefers to be referred to as “writer” rather than “poet”. Born in Stockport 1940, now living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, following a long period in Cambridge. That’s enough about me.

Most of the items on this site are commentaries on, extensions of, or revisions of, published works, and some of them won’t mean much to anyone who doesn’t have the original texts to hand. There is also an amount of bibliography and an autobiographical essay on my early life.


Mainly concerning cultural access in the 1950s and what went wrong.



The Books
Retrospective catalogue of the principal books. Many complete texts quoted.

Bibliography and notes (a) Peter Riley

Bibliography (b) Poetical Histories
An account of a pamphlet series I edited and published from 1984 to 2004

Dawn Songs
An unpublished essay on Transylvanian village music

Notes to Aria with Small Lights

Notes to Poems to Pictures by Jack B. Yeats

Commentary on Ospita

Reader. Lecture. Author.
Revised text of three booklets originally published 1992/3/8

Unpublished or uncollected poems:
        Lancashire Graveyards
        Shadowy Waters

Nicholas Moore (1918-1996):
A note on my acquaintance with this temporarily forgotten poet,
and an edition of an unpublished text, The Orange Bed (.pdf file, 49kb).


The Preface to Due North

Due North is a poem in twelve chapters concerned with human movement northwards or out in the quest for work, subsistence, settlement and gratification, and in danger of getting trapped in various enclosures, including thought-traps. The cast includes migrant workers, returning soldiers, children growing up, and population movements such as the early 19th Century descent on the northern manufacturing districts from demographic disaster zones, with my awareness of my own ancestry among the displaced Irish of Manchester and West Yorkshire. Woven into this are various artistic, poetical, cultural and instinctive ventures to traverse cold and emptiness, limit and futility, in the hope of attaining the metaphor of lasting warmth. Its pattern is that of a long sequence of beginnings, some of which reach their conclusions, usually elsewhere in the text, some of which don’t. The textual mode is literal and lyrical, to posit the value of these two forces in sustaining hope. By “lyrical” is meant unashamedly poetry.



This site last updated 22nd June 2015.

All content on these pages is Copyright
Peter Riley, 2007-2015, unless otherwise stated.

Web design by Peter Manson.

eXTReMe Tracker