Peter Riley was born in 1940 near Manchester in an environment of working people and entered higher education through post-war socialistic education policies. He studied at the universities of Cambridge and Keele and taught for a few years at the University of Odense, Denmark. He was involved in the 1960s in a loose association of Cambridge poets seeking new ways of writing through verbally centred approaches, and edited its organ, The English Intelligencer. Since 1975 he has lived as a freelance writer, teacher and bookseller until he retired from everything in 2005. He lived for ten years in the Peak District of central England, then in Cambridge from 1985, where he ran a small press and collaborated in organising international poetry events. Some of his recent writings have resulted from his travels, principally to Transylvania in search of music. In 2013 he moved to Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He is the author of some twenty books and pamphlets, mostly of poetry but including one of travel sketches in Transylvania. Most of his poetry is concerned with being at particular places on the earth. He reviews poetry regularly for the website The Fortnightly Review.