Cliff Yates was born in Birmingham. He left school at sixteen and did a variety of jobs before returning to full-time education. He won both the Aldeburgh First Collection prize and the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition with Henry’s Clock (Smith|Doorstop, 1999), received an Arts Council England Writer’s Award for Frank Freeman’s Dancing School (Salt, 2009; KFS, 2015) and an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts for Jam (Smith|Doorstop, 2016).
His Selected Poems ebook is published by Smith|Doorstop. Pamphlets include 14 Ways of Listening to the Archers, Emergency Rations, Bike, Rain and Birmingham Canal Navigation. A former English teacher whose students were renowned for winning poetry competitions, he wrote Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School (Poetry Society, 1999) during his time as Poetry Society poet-in-residence.
Formerly Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Aston University, he is a tutor for the Arvon Foundation.