Robert Hull

Robert Hull
Robert Hull

Robert Hull has published 4 books of poetry: Encouraging Shakespeare (Peterloo Poets); Stargrazer (Hodder), a collection for children which was short-listed for the Signal Poetry prize in 1998 ; Everest and Chips (Oxford University Press, 2002), another children’s collection, shortlisted for the 2003 CLPE poetry award; and On Portsouth Station ( Beafred, 2008 ), his fourth and most recent collection. Before its recent sad demise, a fifth was due from Peterloo in summer 2008.

His 40 or so titles for children also include history, poetry anthologies, and retellings of myth and legend. His West African Stories ( Wayland ) was shortlisted for the 1999 Kurt Maschler Award.

He has also written two much-praised books about teaching: Behind the Poem ( Routledge 1988 ), a scrutiny and celebration of children’s writing ; and The Language Gap ( Methuen ), a critical account of language practices in schooling.

He was a school-teacher for 25 years and later a college and university adult education lecturer. He regularly visits schools to run writing workshops. He is married, with a grown son and daughter. He is also one of a number of poets who played at Wimbledon – the singles in his case. Lancashire was his home for 30 years; it is now West Sussex.

Evening vaguening

Night has already
taken the path
under Ulpha Fell

and an owl
calls somewhere
that these woods

we can’t see in
anymore are his.
We can’t see

where the beck flows
or where it’s still.
Its sky

is going,
the sky behind the fell
is going,

the light that’s left
is a mode of dark.
The dale’s sounds,

the few noises
that day hasn’t
quite done with,

lose distinctness –
is it a late
rooster or

a tractor somewhere?
breath of poplar
or lisp of beck?

Till a definite gate
clangs shut
and penned

for the night
a dog barks precisely
who he is.

who he is.

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