Ron Scowcroft

Originally from Greater Manchester, Ron has lived in the Lancaster area since 1985. After a career in teaching and academic research he began writing poetry in 2006. He gained his Ph.D. (J.G. Ballard: Art, Image and Perspectivism) in 1997.

His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, prize winners’ anthologies and literary websites. They have also featured in exhibitions by artists Jayne Simpson and John Morrison and been adapted for video by Morph Films. 

Ron won first prize in the Frogmore competition (2020), joint first prize in the McLellan Poetry Competition (2013) and has been highly commended in The City of Derby (2008), The Yorkshire Open (2012) and Magma (2011) competitions, as well as being longlisted for Strokestown and Bridport, and twice longlisted for the National Poetry prize. Ron is a founder member of Lancaster based April Poets.


Small and Necessary Lives (Wayleave Press, 2024)

'Ron Scowcroft brings into focus an overlooked world of small and necessary lives. Whether rumoured, imagined or real, they command attention with a quiet and meticulous voice. The last wolf in England, a builder's brief dance, a magical night of stargazing, all provide opportunities to reflect on the endurance of passing moments.'

Second Glance , full collection (Oversteps Books, 2022)

'I like the sounds of this writing, especially. Ron Scowcroft writes lines rich with alliteration, assonance and half rhyme.Take this, from ‘Moon Garden’: In shadowless night I dreamed/silver cattle at the crater’s edge. Or this, from ‘The Man Who Could Hear Hiroshima’: An arthritic finger pointed across the river. It’s the language choices that make this reading easy, nothing simplistic about the content, whether he’s writing about love, nature, war, or a cast of care-home characters. He also has a way with endings. They’re often quiet and understated, like little smiles: how close we were, say; or and none of this matters.' 

Charlotte Gann, Frogmore Papers 100th Edition 2022

‘There’s empathy and understated passion in these carefully considered and exquisitely crafted poems … a compassionate but unsettling clear-sightedness probes the heart of his subject.’   Mike Barlow

'The scope of this first collection is remarkable in its breadth. Seriously good poems include tender lyrics, care home life exposed through voices of residents with dementia and staff, and tough atmospheric pieces about men at war . . . rich and surprising turns of phrase with a fine thread of spirituality running through.'  Wendy Klein.

Moon Garden (Wayleave Press, 2014)

'Whether he’s writing about a sheepdog on the Falklands, a constellation or a colony of storks, Ron Scowcroft’s thoughtful and well-honed poems draw you back for futher reading. His practiced ear for just the right word enables him to make ordinary moments uncannily affecting, while also placing them adroitly in their wider context. A poet who never tells you too much but leaves you thinking.' Wayleave Press.

‘Scowcroft has a way with language that causes the ear and mind to take notice at once. He allows for no superfluous word to sit among the finely-hewn lines of each poem.’ Liz Bahs, The Frogmore Papers.

‘These are poems that do not splurge, gush or easily divulge their stories or emotions, but leave enough of a clue to hint at traumas hidden from view.’ Richie McCaffery, Londongrip.

Frogmore Prize (2020)

Of his winning poem Maria Jastrzębska commented: ‘‘Greylags in Fog’, was a poem I returned to for its tenderness. I read it as a love poem. Between people and also between people and nature, the animal world. Everyone can identify with that sense of being lost in a fog – the utter relief of being found. I loved the backward and forwards of the poem’s ‘call and response’. It’s a poem written with the utmost simplicity and spareness capturing something as intangible as a moment. It doesn’t preach or try to convince but tells its story with great lightness of touch.’



Born too early in the year,

roads flooded, sea defences gone

and a white horse in the field

and, of all things, the Zodiac inflatable they came in,

and their torch light

and me blue with cold and the priest in wellingtons

who made it with his chalice and prayer book

and I, who once was gilled like a fish, now gasping, surfacing,

and how beautiful I was

and how, against the odds, I took my name

and how I was told when I was older

of the torn bed sheets

and the ward curtains they wrapped the stillborn in

and how, since then, I swam or set the sails

or held my breath for long enough

or threw a net or cast a line of stars

and how, by water,how fortunate I was to come this far.

 Ron's poems have been published in the         following anthologies, magazines:

 Guardian Books website, January and   November 2008.

 Snap & Peleton (Templar competition   anthologies, 2010 & 2013)

 An Elastic Sky (Lancaster Litfest prizewinners'   anthology 2010)

 The Frogmore Papers (Prize anthologies, 2010   and 2020)

 Ver Poets (Prize anthology)

 Cake Magazine (Lancaster University, Creative Writing, 2011)

 New Writer

 Back and Beyond

 Moon Garden, pamphlet (Wayleave Press,   2014)

 Full collection: Second Glance (Oversteps   Books, 2022)

 Heavenly BodiesElemental; Noble Dissent;   Not a DropWatch the Birdie   (BeautifulDragons)

 Saint George, a Saint for All (Sam Riches). A   study of the history, myths and cultural   appropriations of Saint George, with a   discussion of the poem 'Bitter at the George'.

 Readings at the Poetry Cafe, Leeds Poetry   Festival, Arran Arts Festival, Leek Arts Festival   and The Kendal Poetry Festival.

 Carlisle Symposium, May 2023.

 Friends' Meeting House, Three Lancaster   Poets, July 2023, with Mike Barlow and Carole   Coates.

 Garstang Arts Centre, Thursday 31st August,   2023.

New Events 2024 

 Friends' Meeting House, Lancaster. Launch of   new pamphlet Small and Necessary Lives   (Wayleave Press) with Rebecca Bilkau who will   be launching Walking the Dog in   Wolfenbuttel  (Wayleave Press). Thursday 11th   April. 7.30pm. A free event.

 Garstang Poetry Society, Arts Festival. Date to   be announced.


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