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Riley, Arthur Peter, 1940- (poet, publisher and bookseller)



  • Existence: 1940-


Peter Riley, poet, publisher and bookseller, was born in Stockport in 1940, and read English at Pembroke College, Cambridge (B.A. 1963, M.A. 1969). He worked at various jobs in London and then moved to Hastings and Hove, pursuing a part-time thesis on the novelist and story-writer T. F. Powys at the University of Sussex. He was a subscriber to 'The English Intelligencer', a worksheet privately circulated between poets connected with Cambridge, and was its editor for part of 1967. Between 1969 and 1972 he was a lecturer at the University of Odense (Denmark). In addition to writing on literary topics he pursued interests in avant-garde jazz and free improvised music. After spells living in Macclesfield and the Peak District, during which he undertook a part-time M.A. thesis on Jack Spicer at the University of Keele and commenced a mail-order second-hand book business (which continued until 2005) Riley returned to Cambridge in 1985, where he participated in running the Cambridge Conference on Contemporary Poetry and published the 'Poetical Histories'. In 2013 he moved to Yorkshire.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:


Peter Riley: letters and poems, 1973-2001

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10087/6/54
Scope and Contents Comprises 11 letters from Peter Riley to Denise Riley. Includes a copy of 'Messenger Street: To the Memory of Douglas Oliver' by Peter Riley (Poetical Histories No. 55, Cambridge, 2001), a typescript titled, 'Some things I want to say about Doug' by John Hall, and a typescript titled, 'Douglas Oliver: excerpts from letters to Peter Riley' [Riley donated his letters from Oliver to the University of Essex]. The file also includes several texts and publications of Peter Riley: 'This Carol They...
Dates: 1973-2001
Conditions Governing Access: From the Series: A small number of files in this series are restricted under data protection legislation.

Peter Riley: 'The musicians the instruments'

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10064/2/1/17
Scope and Contents From the Series:

A file for each individual collection

Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: The collection contains personal correspondence. The provisions of the Data Protection Act (1998) apply. Access to documents may be restricted if they contain information exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000. Papers not relating to the Many Press (MS Add.10064/1) remain uncatalogued and are not available for consultation.

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