Tuesday 30 July 2019

I.M. Dave Reeves

By Jacqui Rowe

Dave Reeves, who has died at the age of 65, played a major part in establishing the vibrant poetry community of the West Midlands. An entertaining and original poet himself, Dave was generous and hardworking in promoting others. From 1995 to 2008, he edited Raw Edge, a free magazine available from libraries; at its height 16,000 copies of each edition were produced. I was one of many poets  who were first published in Raw Edge, thrilled to appear along side well-established names. Dave was an excellent editor, as I saw when we judged the Black Country Living Museum Poetry Competition. He was knowledgeable, meticulous and always looked for the good in a poem. 

After Raw Edge, Dave moved on to Radio Wildfire, where he still promoted writers, this time through recordings. Being  a guest on the monthly live shows was a memorable experience, so enjoyable I’d beg to go on. One of the funniest people I’ve ever known, Dave would entertain us while recordings were playing, the guests sometimes struggling overcome our laughter to resume our serious discussion. 

Over the years, Dave was involved in more projects than should have seemed humanly possible, and I was always delighted to find myself working with him. Last year, we were both involved in Still Lively at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, aimed at older people as participants. The people leading the activities also had to be over a certain age, and Dave even managed to get us all to find that amusing. A lot of laughter has gone out of my life with his passing, but the poetry and poets he inspired are still there.

Dave leaves his partner, Ali, his son, Vaughan, and his granddaughter, Harlow.

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