Pam Ayres Biography
(1947– ), Opportunity Knocks, Some of Me Poetry, Some More of Me Poetry
British poet, born in Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire; upon leaving school at 15, she entered the Civil Service and afterwards served in the Women's Royal Air Force for four years, where she discovered her talent to amuse. After readings of her light verse on Radio Oxford and an appearance on the television programme Opportunity Knocks in 1975, she rapidly became highly popular for her wryly self-effacing style. Some of Me Poetry appeared in 1976, followed by Some More of Me Poetry (1976) and Thoughts of a Late-Night Knitter (1978), which together made up All Pam's Poems (1978), illustrated by Roy Garnham Elmore. Further volumes include The Ballad of Bill Spinks' Bedstead (1981) and The Works (1992; selected poems). Among her numerous children's books are Bertha and the Racing Pigeon (1979) and The Crater (1992). The remarkable popularity of her broadcast poetry and the considerable degree of celebrity thus generated resulted in sales of over two million copies of her books by 1981. Ballad idioms and other comic or burlesque forms are used with facility for her often humorously narrative poetry, which sometimes accommodates a compassionate perception of social events or the circumstances of birds and animals.