‘Cliff Yates is one of my favourite poets, writing in an idiom I’d like to call “Skelmersdale Mystic/Domestic.” If he was in a band that band would produce hit singles that would linger in your head for years and if he was a greengrocer his vegetables would always be startling shapes. There’s childhood here, and love, and a way of seeing the world with the wrappers off that is, ultimately, Yatesian’ – Ian McMillan
Cliff Yates was born in Birmingham and grew up in Birmingham and Kidderminster. He left school at 16 for the printing factory and did various jobs before returning to full time education. In the 1970s he learnt Transcendental Meditation, and for many years he taught English in the Maharishi School. His books have won the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet competition and received the Fenton-Aldeburgh Prize as well as an Arts Council England Writers Award. A former RLF Fellow at Aston University and a hugely experienced teacher and writing tutor, he wrote Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School during his time as Poetry Society poet-in-residence following the success of his students in poetry competitions.