The writer and reader:
Born in England, I started writing at the age of 11: poetry mostly. Published in my late teenage years, I stopped submitting when I realised how much was hormonal
breast-beating and how little was from experience... but I continued to write.
Since then have visited some 20 countries and 16 years as a single father have also absorbed much time and energy.
In recent years have focussed more on my prose-writing but the poetry remains a driven thing that can’t be refused.
It seems to me that the function of any creative artist is to place 'glow-worms' along their path through an often dark landscape. These may say to other people who come to those same places that they are not alone and that the experience can be survived! Pain may be turned to something positive if sharing that journey can help alleviate someone else's grief or validate their dreams.
I try to make my poetry as accessible to the reader as the depth of emotion will allow.
One way to achieve this, for me, is to be as unadorned as possible: to write as ‘near to the bone’ as I can. (As a young man, I was, as Dylan Thomas put it, too much 'in love with the sight and sound of words'.) It was only after some years living in the desert (and reading Dante & Eliot) that I made the breakthrough to a leaner style. (See my poem 'I have words'.)
I'm often asked what other poets have influenced me. The answer, of course, is every one I've read, heard or met, in one way or another. The most memorable for me are Dante, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, Hilaire Belloc, Henry Lawson, Robinson Jeffers, James Elroy Flecker, T S Eliot, W.H Auden, Yevtushenko & W B Yeats.
Currently I earn my crust partly through ownership of a Coaching College, enjoying teaching English to senior students.
And still, bloody but unbowed, I look for love.