Tom Pickard

Poet and film-maker

Black and white photo of a man with light skin tone and long hair outdoors looking up Tom Pickard, by Edward Lucie-Smith, May 1970, NPG x21773, © Edward Lucie-Smith / National Portrait Gallery, London

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)