Poet and publisher earned the respect of his fellows during a colourful life

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Poet, novelist and publisher David Tipton, who has died at the age of 78 Poet, novelist and publisher David Tipton, who has died at the age of 78

Bradford-based poet and novelist David Tipton has died at the age of 78.

He died in Bradford Royal Infirmary after falling at his home in Frizinghall, breaking a leg and puncturing a lung.

Twice-married with five children, Mr Tipton’s life was not dull.

He was a National Serviceman who saw action in Malaya, a teacher who spent eight years in Argentina and Peru, a poet whose work was published in magazines in the UK, the US and South America, and a man who loved conviviality and a bet on the horses which sometimes won him hundreds of pounds.

In February 2001, Bradford, an aspiring European city of culture, took the unusual step of awarding a three-month residency at the Central Library to Redbeck Press, of which Mr Tipton was editor.

The city’s-then literary officer Tom Palmer, now a succesful children’s writer, said: “As far as we know this is unique. I think it’s really significant for a library and a publisher to work together to promote reading and writing. I think the idea will be copied across the country.”

In 1998, Mr Tipton was the only British poet to be invited to Lima, Peru, for a fortnight to participate in a world congress of poets – a series of readings and talks with 25 other poets from around the world.

To mark Bradford’s centenary in 1997, he published an anthology of poetry called Spirit Of Bradford. In 2001 he followed that with the Redbeck Anthology Of British South Asian Poetry. Both books won the £2,000 runner-up prize in the Raymond Williams Community Publishing Awards.

Over the past three decades, Redbeck Press published poetry and short fiction by more than 100 writers, including Ian McMillan, Michael Tolkien, grandson of Lord of the Rings author J R R Tolkien, Moniza Alvi, Bill Broady and former Telegraph & Argus journalist Alan Whitaker. For more than three decades, writers like these championed by Mr Tipton and the books he produced made Redbeck’s name widely known in literary circles.

Mr Whitaker said: “David Tipton earned great respect, not only for his own extensive body of work, but also for the unwavering and tireless support he generously gave to promising but unknown writers.”

Bradford-based novelist Bill Broady said Redbeck Press’s prizewinning anthologies and large back catalogue of world poetry was an adornment to the literary scene locally, nationally and internationally.

“Many hundreds of writers owe him an unrepayable and largely unacknowledged debt.”

He is survived by his children and partner, Jane.

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