Dorothy Nimmo

Dorothy Nimmo was born in Manchester in 1932 and died in Yorkshire in May 2001.

She published six books of poems and three pamphlets; and she wrote and published short-stories. In 1996 she received a Cholmondeley Award. Her book The Children’s Game (Smith/Doorstop, 1998) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her last book was The Wigbox: New & Selected Poems (Smith/Doorstop, 2000), and for the back of it, she provided this biog note:

‘Dorothy Nimmo was an actress for ten years, a wife-and-mother for 25. In 1980 she started to write; in 1989 she ran away from home. She is currently caretaker of Settle Friends Meeting House.’

Nimmo was not a prolific poet, and she published less than she wrote. A pamphlet was published in Lancaster by Brazen Voices in 1984, A Woman’s Work (priced at 50p). In 1987, Graham Mort brought out her first book, Homewards (Giant Steps Press), and John Killick and Tony Ward brought out her next, Kill the Black Parrot (Littlewood Arc, 1993). These are powerful collections though they run to only 35 and 45 pages of poems respectively. The covers of all her publications feature distinctive ‘tile-paintings’ by Maggie Berkowitz. In 1993 also, Sessions Book Trust brought out a pamphlet that retells in poems the life of James Nayler.

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