Sunday, July 08, 2018

Steve Sneyd (1941 - 2018): In Memoriam

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.

Photograph © 2018, Gerald England.

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.

Photograph © 2018, Gerald England.

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).

Photograph © 2018, Gerald England.

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:

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.


  1. I was sad to hear this news. Thank you for your post. I remember Steve well though I hadn't met him in recent years. He was a good poet and a helpful colleague.
    Pauline Kirk

  2. Thank you Gerald. I've never met Steve but his name is familiar. Good to remember the others too. I've a fond spot for Geoff Stevens who awarded me two purple patch awards some years ago. The poets corner you photographed above Huddersfield beats the coveted corner in the abbey no self respecting poet would be seen dead in hands down. All the best, Gwilym.

  3. John Light wrote "
    Not having heard from Steve Sneyd for an unusually long time I was half-expecting to hear bad news in respect of him but it was still a shock to read of his death in The Supplement from Atlantean Press. I had hoped it was simply that having scored 200 issues of his long running newsletter Data Dump he was having a well-deserved rest. I can't remember just how many years have passed nor how many letters we have exchanged since coming into correspondence contact, probably through Light's List, for which he annually supplied much valuable information gleaned from his own extensive contacts in the literary world. We only met a few times but it didn't seem to matter, we were automatically in accord about most things literary it seemed to me. We did both read in a joint session at the Newham SF Festival and he stayed with us overnight then. We also met in Newcastle at the launch of the Iron Press anthology "Star Trek - the Poems"."

  4. John Light continued "I felt very pleased to be in some of the poetry booklets he published and he used artwork of mine in some. We collaborated on a joint anthology "Neolithon", which was published by KT Books in the Kite Poetry series. We jointly wrote an introductory poem:
    Poems and drawings born of ancient stones.

    The words we heard may not be theirs

    but makers' stones make modern poems,

    stone thoughts not written on the land

    but here in Neolithon's pages.

    (John Light and Steve Sneyd)

    The whole project gave me a lot of pleasure and Kevin Troop (KT Books) sold out the print run (undoubtedly on the strength of Steve's name!). Indeed I always felt my friendship with Steve benefited me immeasurably.

    I shall miss Steve's frequent letters, often a bit difficult to decipher, but always worth the effort with his comments on the small press world in particular as well as many other things we were both interested in.

    I feel I have lost a true friend."

  5. It sounds like he had quite a full life.

  6. Gerald, this is just a test comment, not to make light of the post, to see if you have them working again.