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What They've Said

I enjoyed the deft fluency, the economy, the pure tone, the pang.


Ted Hughes (1930-98), poet laureate, commenting on The Occasions of Love, Pennine Pens, 1994

God knows how many poets rush for pen and paper when tackling issues. They’d be far better off pausing to study this remarkable piece of work. It should haunt us all.

Carole Baldock, editor of Orbis magazine, writing about ‘Dancing at Cowhill’ in Simon’s Some Fine Old Ways to Save Your Life, Pennine Pens, 2006

Here are some responses to Simon’s reading from Close to Home, published by Headland, at the Alan Garner Centre, Wolverhampton, 2015:


This was an inspirational afternoon. I think it is Simon’s best collection so far and he reads very well.

Beautiful, poignant, joyful poetry. A lovely event, thank you.

A breath of summer on an autumn afternoon.

Lovely goldfinches poem! More thoughts from Japanese bard, please.

Evocative, sad and wonderful poetry, thank you.

Other comments:

I think you have produced a well-crafted book -- very interested in how you have arranged your poems. Your poetry-craft is impressive -- you've included a range of styles and voices.


Jane Seabourne


These are quiet poems, beautifully executed, from a poet who consistently delivers material of a high standard, enjoys his craft and knows the comfort of books. Highly recommended.


Neil Leadbeater in The Cannon’s Mouth


He’s been instrumental in nurturing talent, interest and passion in poetry in Wolverhampton and the wider area for decades.


Rob Francis ‘Snidgescrumpin’ online anthology 2018


I really liked 'Ironing for Boys', by the way, a great sonnet with an authentic homely setting and lovely subtle rhymes.


​​​Jeff Phelps about ‘Ironing for Boys’ published in The Cannon’s Mouth #78, December 2020

One of the benefits of Zooms is the opportunity to see and hear poets and poetry from beyond the area of activity people like me .... and probably many of you .... normally consider.  Simon Fletcher with Offa's Press has organised some super Zooms this last year and more. If you don't know of these poets or just one or two try to catch 'Virtual Voices'.

Ian M Parr on Facebook

Some comments from my online reading at 'Getting a Word in Edgeways', October 2021

  • Fabulous poetry!

  • Thank you so much Simon - so important to hear your words - powerful and relevant - also so good to hear the background to each poem.

  • I lay on the sofa and was lost in your scenes and ideas. Thank you.

  • Powerful, perceptive and profound.

Thank you, Simon, for your brilliant poetry.

Emma Purshouse on Simon's editing work

Thank you to Offa's Press for taking a punt on [It's Honorary, Bab, 2022].  In particular to Simon Fletcher who is nowhere to be seen on social media, but quietly gets on being hugely supportive to a great many poets. Simon was a brilliant editor with the patience of a saint.

Michael Marks Environmental Award 2022


Judges' comments

A Greener Song squarely addresses the broad subject of climate change and the human role in it, but does so through narrowly focused topics and with accurate details about the environment. Poetic form plays an important role in this work, with many of the poems rhyming. There is a central theme that we have the choice to determine the values by which we live: that our actions towards the environment are constantly setting the stakes for our own existence. A combination of honesty and uncertainty at times emerges: ‘I’m not sure what’s on the cards / it’s raining, dull, I need to think’. The final, title poem ‘A Greener Song’ offers hope, expressing the power of familial love and the will to persevere. There are nuances of light and darkness, good and evil, a motive of greyness contrasted with a ‘brighter greener page’.

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