This site is written and operated by Ivor Murrell, who lives in Coastal Suffolk with wife Jean and has been writing poetry for over 50 years.

Ivor reading at Sutton Hoo Poetry Day, June 28th 2009.

The site is called Versifier because poetry is the writing form that I am drawn to, and the word simply means to write in verse.    I am aware that for some people the word also suggests overtones of indifferent poetry, but perhaps you will give me the benefit of reading from the site, and then making your own decision on that.

My poetry is drawn from interactions with others and events in this brief but crowded existence, which I hope will chime with readers. Whilst each person’s life is unique there is much overlap of experience and emotion.

In the last few years I have been trying to link images to my words.  Sometimes the images relate directly to the poem, sometimes they are images made or found after the poem has been written, either way it makes a website an ideal way to display them.

The background I draw from is reasonably varied.

I attended a well known Suffolk Grammar school, but was so involved in self indulgence that I overlooked the possibilities of later benefits from academia, left school at sixteen, and then took a five year engineering maintenance apprenticeship with the British Sugar Corporation.  A decision I have never regretted, for the introduction it gave me to a completely different adult world, and skills which have saved me a great deal of money over the years.

At British Sugar I became one of their first ‘Utility Men’, people who could operate any part of the factory process, and act also as ‘trouble shooters’ for problem solving.  Having already mastered two career skills, I then took up a third, by joining a traditional floor malting company, making malt (the basic raw material of beer) for supply to many UK Breweries.  After the hurly burly of a modern continuous process factory, this was like becoming a Victorian industrialist, with the need to learn a range of empirical skills, some taking years to master.  I had the time; I was a floor maltster for twenty five years, ending up as the company Managing Director.  Various attempts at diversification of the company involved me also being involved with computers, building golf buggies, and retail ladies fashion, but we need not explore further in those directions.  We eventually closed the floor malting company in 1993; as such traditional method of malt production was making it difficult to compete financially with modern malt production methods.

Then I was asked to manage the operation of the malting industry’s trade association, The Maltsters Association of Great Britain.  For the last thirteen years of my working life, as its Director General, I was involved in any issue that involved that modern industry, a fourth career in fact.

I retired in November 2006, after working almost non-stop since September 1960.

In 2009 I finished my distance learning course at the Open University, to earn a BA Honours degree in Humanities, so I finally finished my formal education at the age of 65.

This wide range of different experiences has given me a rich seam to mine, that time now allows.

You can contact me by e-mail:  ivor@versifier.co.uk


  1. hello Ivor,

    I’ve read the funeral for a previous generation and I love the words ‘weigh their flesh against the steep slope’. I look forward to reading more of your work and enjoying the versifier site. perhaps we can find a way of working together…

    best wishes


  2. christina van melzen

    What a beautiful, restful and stimulating (can something be both?) site. The combination of poems and images is very exciting.

  3. Ann Follows

    Ivor it’s really good to see your poetry on-line like this ….well done! I look forward to contemplating your verse, some of which I’ve heard you read or talk about. The value of your presentation here is that I can see the photos you’ve chosen to put with the verse together with comments and background which contextualises it. Quite an inspiration yourself!

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