Peter Finch

Guest Poet 10

Peter Finch


Peter Finch will shortly be standing down from his role as chief executive of the Academi (don’t call it retiring!). He has cited his reasons as wanting to get away from administration to devote more time to writing. I remember him telling me himself in an email that “wearing different hats makes for a complicated life. Sometimes I am unsure who I am.”

Well, I can tell you now pop-pickers, one thing he definitely is is one of Wales’ best poets. I know a lot of people who think they need to suck up to Peter due to his standing in the literary world, but as a writer and performer, Peter just gets on with this job quietly, effortlessly and efficiently. I would definitely classify him as a performance poet, even though he is unlike most performance poets because he is also very experimental. Peter loves the sound of words, and this comes over well in much of his poetry. He is very adaptable, and gives good consideration to which of his poems will suit which occasion – something I think many poets could learn from. And in the best tradition of all of my favourite Cardiffian poets, he also has an exceptional, dry sense of humour.

And the reason I’ve picked Peter to be the final guest poet in the series is because I also think, especially with his more experimental work, he has in fact cracked just what it was I was originally trying to do when I was trying to write “pure poetry”, all those years ago when I first started this site. I’m sure there are already many academics who have a definition for this term, but for me, it was something to do with trying to find an essence in things, and stripping down language to its bare essentials. It’s not an easy thing to do, I don’t think, and I have veered away from trying to keep up this style, instead favouring more of a narrative style, and using humour as a substitute for substance! But there are several poems in Peter’s latest book, “Zen Cymru”, and several he has written throughout his career that get to grips with what I was trying to do I think. And I’m therefore very grateful for the four new poems he’s submitted, and thanks also to Seren Books for allowing the use of 2 additional poems from Zen Cymru. You will notice that the first poem is based on a piece of writing I did myself, which I must admit I found just a tad embarrassing the first time I heard it being read, but it's flattering in a way I suppose!

Buy Zen Cymru







A selection of Peter's poetry

Thanks V Much

This Migraine is Something

House Fix

The Seabirds

Entry of Christ into Cardiff 2005


Like Peter's poems?
Let us know, by signing
The Guest Book
Or let Peter know himself!
Contact Peter
Back to Other Poets