Board and Patrons
Celia Imrie Edna Longley Michael Longley Christopher Reid
Stephen Boyce, Chair, worked for Southern Arts, the Community Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) before becoming a freelance arts and heritage consultant. He has extensive experience as trustee of cultural bodies and sits on the National Lottery Heritage Fund committee for London & So. A prize-winning poet, he is the author of three full-length collections – Desire Lines (Arrowhead 2010), The Sisyphus Dog (Worple 2014), The Blue Tree (Indigo Dreams 2019). A resident of Winchester for over 30 years, Stephen now lives in Dorset.
Vanessa Davis has many years experience, both as trustee and chair, of several literary and medical organisations, with a special interest in developing friends’ and members’ groups. She has been on the executive committee of the War Poets Association and was for many years the membership secretary and honorary secretary of the Wilfred Owen Association. A member of the RLS, her role with Winchester Poetry Festival is establishing and developing our friends’ scheme.
Rupert Nabarro OBE, is an economist specialising in urban research, analysis and development. In 1985 he founded the Investment Property Databank which in 2005 and in 2010 was awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Life Fellow of the Society of Property Researchers. He has been Chairman of Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust and is also a long-term trustee of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Common Ground.
Keiren Phelan has a background in journalism and publishing, having worked for IPC Media, Collins, Heinemann and Pitman, and has also produced a series of sound recordings of live poetry readings. He joined Southern Arts as a marketing specialist and went on to become a literature specialist for Arts Council England. He was a trustee of New Writing South for a number of years and editor of the website Literary Winchester.
Jon Sayers trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and worked as an advertising copywriter and creative director before turning to writing and teaching. He has published poems and translations in journals in the UK and USA, including Magma, The Rialto, Kaffeeklatsch, Literary Review and The Squaw Valley Review. He has served as Chair of Magma Poetry, Deputy Chair of The Poetry Society trustees and was Poet in Residence at Sunday Assembly, London. He teaches creative writing for wellbeing in London and co-runs the Kent and Sussex Writing and Wellbeing Network.
Richard Stillman is Head of English at Winchester College and has enjoyed being part of the Winchester literary scene as a Hyde Writer and also in his role as head of Winchester College’s Empson Society. His poetry has appeared in several anthologies and he is preparing a first collection about his years in what is now the Czech Republic. He is also a novelist, represented by Peters, Fraser & Dunlop.
Jon Whitfield QC is a barrister with 30 years experience of criminal, regulatory and mental health law. As such he has a great deal of experience of public speaking and performance. Jon is a trustee of three pension funds and a charity aimed at improving mental health for patients in Ghana. Jon has read and written poetry for much of his life experimenting with poetry performance including with improvised guitar and other musical accompaniment.
Associates and advisers
Sue Spiers is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants with an MBA and BA in Literature from the Open University. She served as OU Poets' treasurer 2010-2017 and as editor of British Mensa's Poetry SIG from 2016. As an accountant Sue has worked for Marconi, Smiths Aerospace, and Pharmaceutical Product Development. As a poet her work has appeared in various print and online magazines, and in several anthologies. Her role with Winchester Poetry Festival is as treasurer.
Photo: Gilbert Yates Photography