Bernard Gilhooly was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England and began writing poetry at the age of 14.
He served in the British Army from 1944-48, including a two-year stint in India. Upon his return to Britain, he was involved in the re-mapping of post-war Britain for the Ordnance Survey before enrolling at university to study English literature and history.
For 30 years he taught creative writing and literature at Manchester Metropolitan University, whose staff includes U.K. Poet Laureate, Professor Dame Carol Ann Duffy. Along with three of his contemporaries, he inaugurated what was the U.K.'s first undergraduate creative writing course.
During a sabbatical in the 1980s Bernard hosted a poetry program on BBC radio. He has also given talks on a variety of themes, from the plight of refugees to marine life conservation.
Bernard's poetry and short stories have been published in numerous books and anthologies, including New Hope International, Iota and Candelabrum.
"At 30,000 feet," which was penned in the 1950s, was included in the annual P.E.N. anthology for 1957 and has been featured in numerous poetry collections and was for some years a standard text on secondary and higher education curricula in the U.K and other English-speaking countries. It was also published in a 1968 anthology titled "Seven Themes in Modern Verse" that included works by such literary giants as W.H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, R.S. Thomas, and C.S. Lewis.
From the mid-1960s, he lived just outside the Potteries area of his birth, where he continued to live well into his 80s with his wife and muse of 58 years, Sheila. After retirement, he worked for 15 years as a volunteer with an organisation helping stroke victims.
"I started writing in my teens," he once wrote in a letter to a reader of his work, "and have never managed to get cured since."
On May 22, 2016, Bernard passed away peacefully. He was 89.
The Evening Sentinel, which published a story about Bernard in 1967, ran a tribute article on June 11, 2016. An online version of that story can be accessed by clicking here.
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