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River Parrett Trail

Biography: Tony Charles

Born in Birmingham in 1947, Tony Charles studied Drama for three years under John Hodgson at Bretton Hall and subsequently became a teacher. He later gained a B.A. degree in English and Humanities through the Open University. Since 1978, his main home has been in Somerset, where he works as a freelance as a writer, artist, trainer, teacher and small press publisher.


Tony Charles has published eight volumes of poetry:

The Wonderful Rubbish-Tip (1975)

The Bear and Ragged Staff (1984)

Wake (1992)

Carvings (1994)


Elements (1996)

Broad Daylight (1998)

Andromeda (2000)

He has also published reviews, short stories and two textbooks for drama teachers. Work appears widely in poetry magazines and anthologies.


Tony works in a wide range of media. His output includes pure paintings as well as two-dimensional and three-dimensional poetry. He has a particular interest in projects which cross traditional boundaries, combining different art forms. He has had work in over twenty exhibitions since 1996, including twelve one-man shows.

Readings, residencies and workshops

Poetry, prose and play-writing are all offered and may be pitched at any level, from infants to adults, from complete beginners to people who are writing already and wish to develop their existing skills.

Tony Charles is available for readings, either for adults or for children. He also gives workshops, in Creative writing and in Drama, to which he brings over twenty-five years' teaching experience, both with adults and with children of all ages and from widely-differing backgrounds. These may be booked either singly or in series and will usually - though not necessarily - be linked to a reading. The content, format and style of courses or individual sessions can, of course, be tailored to the requirements of the group or establishment making the booking.

What the clients said:

"A thoroughly professional series of presentations and activities, with widely diverse groups of people. We want to arrange a follow-up next year." - Bishop's Castle Community College, Shropshire

"Really worthwhile, excellent value. The students are all scribbling away furiously; and they're already asking when they can come and do it again." - Taunton School, Somerset

"It's given the students a great boost for their 'A' levels, and thanks for the wonderful back-up material." - Bridgwater College

"Tony was always thoroughly oragnised, meticulously prepared - essential qualities for such a wide-ranging, lengthy, split-site residency." - Barrow Sixth-Form College

"A most successful venture... Tony has a charismatic quality about him, issuing from his great self-belief, drive and hard work, and these qualities were also powerful in developing relations with pupils." - John Ruskin School, Coniston

"What really impressed us was that you didn't act as if you had all the answers. Our least able children benefited just as much as the brightest." - Beech Grove Primary School, Wellington

"The whole class cheered when Tony arrived." - Thorncliffe School, Barrow-in-Furness


Details of fees will be supplied on request. The rates depend on both the nature and the duration of the booking proposed. Special rates would normally be negotiated for longer periods, residencies or multiple bookings.

Tony Charles,

Old Zion Chapel,

The Triangle,



TA11 6QP.

Tel: +44 (0) 1458 272962