Frank Wood was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1925. He was a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy during the war and after working in local government for ten years, trained to become a teacher, retiring as Head of English at Orwell High School, Felixstowe in 1984.
He started the Preston Poetry Workshop with poet Jim Burns in 1970 and was joint founder of Ipswich Poetry Workshop in 1974. Influences were Walt Whitman, T S Eliot, Louis McNeice, W H Auden and Peter Porter, but it was reading Philip Larkin’s second collection, The Less Deceived, in 1957 that led him to think that he might one day be able to write poetry. For that day, he had to wait another ten years.
Frank has read his work on local radio in Lancashire and Suffolk, at universities, colleges, village halls, churches and pubs and his poems have appeared widely, in publications such as Encounter, Ambit, Acumen, Orbis, South, The Countryman, The Independent and many others now defunct. He came first in the Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition in 1985 and 1989 and has won prizes in several others.
He enjoys theatre and has been active in amateur dramatics as stagehand, actor and producer. He also relishes music and has frequently been seen and heard performing popular ballads and singing with an a cappella group, Quintessential, in Felixstowe and Suffolk. In 2006, he made a CD of ballads and jazz standards with musician, Bill Stoddart. He has always been a keen walker and mountaineer and remains an inveterate church-crawler and country house creep.
He is widowed and has one married son and two granddaughters.
Racing the Stable Clock, HappenStance, 2012
Suffolk Poetry Society