Tribute to Richard Copeland (1945-2018)

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Richard ‘Dick’ Copeland, Poetry Society Member and North Herts Stanza Rep for the Letchworth-based Poetry ID, passed away on Christmas Day 2018. Friends and fellow poets pay tribute.

“Dick was a mainstay of the group, attending every week if he could with his wife Ann, also an excellent poet, since they first joined over 18 years ago.

He was born in London in 1945 and lived in Wales, Northampton and Stevenage. He was educated at Heathcote school, Stevenage, but left “as early as he could”. He worked mainly as a camera repair technician. He was a keen photographer and loved music of all types, especially classical. He met Ann in 1988 and they married five years later.

I got to know them both well and always looked forward to Dick’s enthusiasm and eagerness to get stuck into that week’s workshop with aplomb. He was very accomplished at getting “in the zone” and he always had good comments to make about the efforts of fellow members.

He was a dedicated organiser and positive force, pushing to make our group a Stanza as soon as they were introduced and making sure that our activities were publicised. Whether it was a group writing holiday, an open mic night, inviting guest readers or helping to compile anthologies, Dick was always there with his hand up, keen to participate. His work has appeared in Black Mountain Review, Envoi, Quantum Leap, Frogmore Papers, Dream Catcher, Eclipse and many other magazines, as well as the anthologies Poems for a Liminal Age (2015) and Write to be Counted (2017).

Dick was a very affable man and easy to get on with. He was deeply troubled by the evils in the world and tried to combat them through his words, creating many empathic, powerful poems. I will never forget his big heart and generous personality.” David Van-Cauter

“He was a gem and is sadly missed. He was my Stanza Rep, welcomed newcomers in and was always interested, encouraging and kind. Life had become challenging for Dick but, as people who followed him on Facebook will know, the way he handled his final illness was quite remarkable. Brave, brave man. X.” Nicky Phillips

“I am very sad to learn of Richard’s death. His Facebook posts were unfailingly kind and thoughtful – and full of the warm details of life, right to the end. Thank you, Richard. My sympathy to Ann and your family. You are missed, but still appreciated deeply.” Alison Brackenbury

“I am really touched to learn that Richard has been recalled to the astral dimension where he has now begun to fully explore the wonders of creation, where his spirituality and his humanity may flourish together – never to be threatened or attacked by cancer. We shall miss this guy a lot.” Nnọrọm Azụonye

“He was an extraordinarily kind man and a lovely poet. The world is poorer without him.” Bethany Pope

“Oh, oh, oh. The lovely Richard Copeland has passed away. I am so very sorry. He was such a kind and lovely man. My heart goes out to his loved ones everywhere.” Jane Burn

“Very sad to hear this news. We met once at a reading in London. He was such a kind man and a talented poet. My condolences to his family. xx” Alison Lock

“So sorry to hear this news. Richard was always kind and calm. He will be missed.” Angela Topping

“He was a nice man and a talented poet. I shall miss him.” Grant Tabard