Longlisted for BBC Writersroom 10

A long time ago I sent a copy of “Pig Unit” to the BBC selection process known as Writersroom.


“Dear Peter On behalf of everyone in the BBC Writersroom team, we’d like to thank you for taking part in Scriptroom 10. We received over 3,100 drama scripts for TV, Radio, Film and Stage. This is the highest number of submissions we’ve ever received so we’re sure you’ll understand that the reading process has taken longer than expected and we’d like to thank you again for your patience. After reading the first 10 pages, your script was put forward to the next sift where the first 20-30 pages of scripts were then read by another reader and we are pleased to tell you that your script was longlisted. This means it progressed to the full read and feedback stage of the process, where a script reader read your script and provided comments. After the full read stage all decisions are made by BBC Writersroom staff. We look at the reports, discuss with the readers, and read the most promising scripts (the shortlist). BBC Writersroom staff may then invite the writer to come in for an interview with a view to being considered for suitable development opportunities. We will be back in touch in March/April with further news. In the meantime, congratulations again on reaching the longlist as this means your script reached the top 8% of all the submissions we received and it is a huge achievement to get this far. Best wishes, The BBC Writersroom Team”

Poetry on the Spot – January

I shall be doing a twelve minute (twelve!  Count them) poetry spot at my favourite Poetry Night.  Chaplin’s bar, Boscombe Tuesday 12th January at around 8pm.  Look forward to seeing you there.

Sherlock on BBC1

We all enjoyed Sherlock this Christmas but did you know there is another interpretation of the story?  Peter John Cooper’s play ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Vanishing Author’.  Click this link for details.


Poetry Can Make a Difference.

12342286_1813108892249335_4458494346192617582_nI’m delighted to see that the Speak Out and Spit poetry-a-thon that I was involved in on Saturday raised the staggering sum of £1,874.14 for the folk who are marooned in the Calais Refugee Camps.  Well done to Kim West for organising it, Paul Canon Harris for hosting it and all my co-poets and singers.  Poetry can make a difference

Speak Out and Spit

speakoutand spitI shall be pitching in to help this important cause tomorrow.  I’m performing between 2.45 and 3.00 but there’s a whole day of events so try to get there at any time.


Today, hurricane Desmond has brought us a flotilla of sea-creatures called By-the-wind-sailors.  This happens every few years.  These beautiful blue jellyfish have two odd features. One is a curious triangular sail that enables them to cover vast oceanic distances.  The other is that they are either right or left handed.  The righthanded ones end up in Florida and the left-handed ones finish their lives on our beaches and in our rock pools.

Blown here by unusual trades

And wrecked on this curious shore;

Washed by these tidal cascades,

We’ll cross the wide ocean no more.


Our families  are far beyond reach:

They sailed on a contrary tide.

You can’t see so far from this beach

And the ocean is so very wide.


And for once we have no enemies,

In this pool with the sea anemones.


With the ebb and the sun’s fiery glare,

There’ll be not be a lot left to find.

Our bodies will transmute to thin air

Leaving naught but a shadow behind

Poetry on the Spot

I shall be reading my latest Sir Reginald story – Sir Reginald’s Christmas Carol at the Poetry on Spot night at Chaplin’s Bar in Boscombe on Tuesday 8th December at 8 o’clock.  See you there.

A Bottle of Bass

BassIt’s a cold, wet, windy November afternoon and the light is fading fast.  I nip the top off the Bottle of Bass and pour an inch or two into a glass to sample it. It is bitter and smooth as cream.  And suddenly, exactly like Proust and his madelaine I am transported back in time to a world long gone. Fifty years pass in a moment.  It is another cold wet November afternoon.  I am twelve or thirteen and I am a beater for a big shoot on the estate where we live.  My hands are numb with cold and the rain is trickling down my collar but I am deliriously happy.  Working on the shoot was a great event and with the other twenty or thirty people from the village I feel entirely grown up.  There is no division between the older men and the boys.  We are all paid the same (A good wedge for a day’s work).  We all get a brace of pheasants to take home and at dinner time (twelve o’clock) the back of one of the landrovers is opened and there are boxes of sandwiches (thick generous slices of chicken and ham) and crates of pale ale and brown ale. Somebody asks me what I prefer and, not really having tried either, I opt for the pale ale. Yes, that first taste, as bitter smooth as today. We sit on bales on the trailers that are our transport around the Hampshire woodlands and I think “This is the moment.  This is it.”

Several lifetimes later, as a vegetarian and against bloodsports I couldn’t be further removed from that day. But the bottle of Bass reminds me who I was and I am content with that.


Welcome to my website.  I hope you’ll find all sorts of things to amuse you with links to some of my poems (“Poem of the Week”) and projects as well as my history and publications (“About”)and, if you are a booker, information under the heading “Press” that you can use directly for publicity.  Any events that I’m taking part in with dates and so on in the “News” section but if there’s anything you like to know then just go to “Contact”.  Meanwhile I’m working on my Blog “Blood and Bones” on spyway.blogspot.com on being a playwright in this crazy new world we find ourselves in.  I am also uploading an edited spoken version to YouTube.  I think I’m getting better at making these little videos so do “Like” and “Share” and, above all “Subscribe”.  It helps other people see them.

“Listening to Peter John Cooper was a mini-masterclass in how to combine wonderful words with a powerful delivery”