Tom Pickard

Poet and film-maker

Poet and film-maker particularly concerned with social activism. In 1963 Pickard founded the influential Morden Tower Book Room in Newcastle upon Tyne scheduling readings by British and American contemporary poets. His collections include High on the Walls (1968), The Dark Months of May (2004) and the Ballad of Jamie Allan (2007), the subsequent opera of which Pickard wrote the libretto.


Running soft in rubber shoes, trailing clouds of breath
we knew that property was theft.

From ‘dawn raid on an orchard’ in Custom and Exile (London: Allison & Busby, 1985)


where we live
shattered smiles
   break on haggard faces
From ‘The Devil’s Destroying Angel Exploded’ in Tiepin Eros (Newcastle: Bloodaxe, 1994)



Tom Pickard
by (John) Edward McKenzie Lucie-Smith
bromide print, May 1970
NPG x21773
© Edward Lucie-Smith / National Portrait Gallery, London