About the Author


Keith Chandler has recently moved to Bridgnorth from Norfolk, where he is enjoying the differences and learning to walk uphill.  Since being selected for Ten English Poets (Carcanet) in 1977, his poetry has been published in four collections: Kett’s Rebellion (Carcanet 1982), A Passing Trade (OUP 1991), A Different Kind of Smoke (Redbeck, 2001) and The English Civil War Part 2 (Peterloo 2009).  As well as writing poems, several of which have won prizes in national competitions or been broadcast on Radio 3, he had a play for television, Card Trick, put on by Anglia in 1990 (long ago and late at night - but at least the local butcher saw it!). 


Further information available from his website: 


Some reviews:
 “Consistently enjoyable: every poem is adeptly constructed, communicating its idea with force and economy.” Vernon Scannell, The Sunday Telegraph

“A genuine poet, remarkable for his acuteness of observation and unshowy craftsmanship.” George Szirtes, Poetry Review

“His angle on the world is often fresh and funny…equipped with formidable confidence in the face of uncomfortable truths.” Rennie Parker, Critical Survey

“Hilariously satirical, throwing out the home truths in spadefulls, much of A Different Kind of Smoke is so good that it deserves to be read out loud.” Will Daunt, Envoi

Chandler’s poetic presence is compassionate and searching. There is much to praise here.” David Annwn, The London Magazine



 Examples of Work


Be kind to Martin Mr Biddle said
Martin is what we call ‘autistic’.
The Little Miss Perfects in Class One
cross-legged on the floor of the gym
in gingham checks, nodded, smirked.
Artistic Martin who looked like a dark
angel – yes, they would be kind to him.

But when they tried to hold his hand
bad Martin wouldn’t look at them,
making bird noises ran straight through
their baby games, their rosy rings.
Martin liked fire engines, electricity
and climbing. Martin liked to turn
lights on off off on. He preferred things

to people. Even Mr Biddle got cross.
That was the day Martin ran off
to where the giant pylon lived
behind our school like a coathanger man
with cones. Come down Martin!
Come down!
(but from a world of lost
connections he was already gone)
and to the class Get back! Get back!
Once upon a time Martin was Jack
of the beanstalk monkeying up up up.
8 police cars 3 fire engines 1 helicopter
lights flashing nah-nah! nah-nah!
That night on telly Martin was top
of the news.  Tree fairy.  Dark star.