About Keith Suddrey
Born in 1953, Keith Suddrey is a Grimsby-based poet and artist. Now retired, he worked formerly as an art instructor for adults with autism. He is a member of the Nunsthorpe poetry group and the Riverhead Poetry Cafe group. Since his retirement, he has been promoting his artwork and poetry on both sides of the Atlantic.
Keith is our incredibly talented poet in residence.
We asked Keith to tell us more about himself.
“I retired from being an art instructor in 2018, which has given me time to devote to my own art and poetry. Writing spans more than five and a half decades of my life, but since finishing work, I have been able to become involved in the local seen and my community, becoming poet in residence with Our Big Picture, a community, arts and heritage organisation, collaborating with several artists, on a variety of projects. They have published a set of five zines, containing my poetry and illustrations, with the title, Haven. Recently, I have been active online in several American poetry and arts groups, finding my feet in what for me seems like a second home, while juggling poetry, family and the dog, not necessarily in that order. I had a book of poems published in the States early in 2022. I have been showcased in High Windows, a literary magazine, for my art and poetry, in 2021. Writing is the power that drives me, I suppose I’ve that much junk from books, the rabbit hole and life itself, crammed into my head, that it combines and clones, spilling out onto paper and screen, with writing and art, releasing the wilder side of my imagination. Now I am juggling pieces I write for my community and residency with OBP, with a long Cyberpunk, Crime based poetry sequence called, China Blue. There is also lots of one off pieces. I suppose so this stops me getting bored, but I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
This poem by Keith Sundry titled great grimsbys gristle was written when he was working from our home in Elwood Cottages
great grimsbys gristle
old english slang narrated through plastic teeth, deconstructs this stage
where original inhabitants act out their shabby comic theatre stiffly
not prompted by some upstart crow who’s tongue spills with cheapside
salt for flavour, regulating body functions, an osmosis of past notions
impulses pinned out in whimsical order quill their own dark grimoire
where old and forgotten memories are stuck in mud beneath our feet
where ghosts wade for five mire weeks like earl rognvaldr of orkney
where red rimmed eyes seek out raven thoughts in unconvincing flight
before they unravel smell, taste, sight and sound from its fibril skein
bring home rumour, scandal, telling and tiding, otherwise the goods
to the town’s heart, into wodens waiting wide open hungering lugs
chapters measure their worth in tickled words, perhaps and may have
that permeates the structure, warn down by weathers vicissitudes
buildings and people come and go, but! there’s always a but involved
the beauty and ugly nonsense of every age ends up washed away
leaving revanant signs and momentos hidden just out of our view
cold breeze to the back of the neck, telltale scent and stench betrays
sujests that time and place are never what they pretend to portray
that a shadow in a corner, a flicker of movement in peripheral vision
are echoes breaching the gap that we so short-sightedly disregard