Raised on a council estate himself, Tony worked in and with some of the UK’s most deprived wards in inner city Manchester then Salford for nearly 20 years. First as a local authority Housing Officer, then a Housing Team Leader, Housing Special Projects Manager, Community Regeneration/Social Inclusion Manager, ERDF/SRB5 Social Programme Manager, Neighbourhood Manager and an Internal Consultant on neighbourhood partnership working.

More of Tony’s cv can be found here on LinkedIn.

As a poet, Tony has devised and led a wide range of acclaimed workshops in men’s and women’s prisons, with refugees and asylum seekers and adults experiencing poverty, homelessness, isolation, drug and alcohol issues, mental ill health, etc. Tony is a Patron of the Back on Track charity in Manchester as well as an Ambassador for Forever Manchester: The Community Foundation for Greater Manchester which both do excellent work.

Tony has also been Poet in Residence with the award-winning, national exemplar REELMcr community film company (not-for-profit) for many years and has led sessions, co-written community poems and hosted numerous film premieres and awards ceremonies around Greater Manchester from the main stage of The Lowry to Bolton’s Albert Hall.

Tony has worked with many charities and third sector organisations such as Big Local, British Red Cross and Church Action Against Poverty and with a number of local authorities, Housing Associations and Care Providers and their customers, clients, residents and activists.

Tony’s has worked successfully in both men’s and women’s prisons across the north west. In 2012 an Apples and Snakes-led, 10 session, multi-poet prison project was awarded a Bronze Koestler Prize award for prison arts.

To discuss a visit, workshop or project idea please click here.

Extract from “Take This Pen”

Welcome! We’re expecting you!
We’ve saved a place for you. It’s true
that you are us and we are you and
poetry is for you.

You’re different. But we’re the same!
Strange family, all with different names
But we’re all lit from a single flame.
And poetry is for you.

So here’s a gift to you from me
The pen a poet gave to me
Take it. It will set you free.
And poetry is for you.

“Take This Pen” is published here.

Photo : Paul Fosbury Photography