Photograph © 2001, Gerald England.
people who have vanished
pressed into poems in small defunct magazines
still breath sometimes athwart my dreams
so wrote Steve Sneyd in Tributary Fractions which I published in The Hallamshire & Osgoldcross Poetry Express back in 1973.
Last week I said goodbye to him as he was buried at the Rose Hill Burial Ground,
a non-denominational site for natural burials at Birkby above Huddersfield. His family, local friends and various people from the small press world including Andy Darlington, John Francis Haines, J C Hartley, Pete Presford and Chris Reed, gathered under the shade of a large tree in the grounds. We heard about his life, his work and his achievements, listened to some of his poetry and paid our respects.
I first knew Steve when he was publishing Ludd's Mill and I had started Headland. We both contributed to a large number of the so-called "little magazines" that proliferated in the small press world of the 1970s and into the millennium.. In the pre-internet era they became a network through which poets communicated with each other. We met up at conventions around the country in Liverpool, Dartford, Norwich, Corby, Middlesbrough, Hastings, Newcastle and elsewhere. The photograph at the top of the page was taken at the Purple Patch convention hosted by Geoff Stevens in Sandwell. There Steve gave a talk on The Inclusion Of Poetry In Novels.
I've published numerous poems by Steve Sneyd over the years and in 1992 his collection A Mile Beyond The Bus. which was illustrated by Ian M Emberson (1936 - 2013).
Despite have a huge interest in science fiction he was something of a luddite when it came to the internet. However he was a regular contributor to Comopoetry coordinated by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe from Romania. His contribution to their Through the Light anthology was:
IN DESPITE OF PROSPERO
Fall of Ariel
this high brightness coming fast
to free Caliban
from the comet’s shadow
pod voice back so long
"I’m still really yours"
-by Steve Sneyd (UK, laureate of the Peterson Trophy, director of Hilltop Press, editor of Data Dump)
Learn more about Steve and his work in the International Times.
He will not be forgotten.