I have come to poetry late in life although I have written songs for my own amusement for over 50 years (sounds grand!) and occasionally people have said they were poetic. A friend introduced me to poetry through the Sudbury café poets evening and that prompted me to start abandoning music for some of my scribbling. My main intention is to amuse although I am very happy if something deeper comes along.
I do not read poetry very often and only really started writing in the last couple of years, particularly with the encouragement of my psychologist. I also paint and draw, mainly mixed media works which mean my shed/studio is crammed full of interesting bits of texture or colour that might come in useful, a bit like my head and consequently like my poetry, I suppose. After a long time suppressing all my creative instincts in favour of family and bringing in money (and being made ill by the effort) I am now stitching, sticking and painting together a style of my own in words and visually. I usually write so that a poem can be read on at least two levels, though sometimes it just does exactly what it says on the can.
It's interesting to note how many people have come 'late to writing' here. I am another. School was the most unimaginative environment ever so I either spent my formative years being lambasted for daydreaming or avoiding all things booky, seeing how painful it all was for my writer dad.
Eventually, in 2003 it seemed a good idea to put an education where one should be and I fell instantly for poetry on an Access to HE course. Uni lasted a whole seven weeks. The writer in residence told me my stuff was good and the penny dropped; I should write. Soon afterwards a first poem was published and I went after comedy, selling bits here and there. I still sit and daydream through windows, only now people pay me to do it while I tune their pianos. Better still, I have found other poets! Hello.
I've always loved poetry but only started writing in February 2006, after randomly buying Carol Ann Duffy's beautiful book "Rapture" and being totally inspired by it. I've been attending Poetry Aloud meetings since Autumn 2010 and always enjoy talking about what and how and why we write as part of this friendly and supportive group, as well as hearing some amazing poems each month
Although I have ‛dabbledʼ in poetry for many years, it wasnʼt until I got together with two local poets for critical sessions ‛The Friday Morning Poetry Clubʼ, that I began to write seriously. Sensible folk, they finally urged me towards Poetry Aloud and since that first meeting in April 2010, my writing has evolved from an interest into a passion.
I have always had a creative instinct, but it wasnʼt until a superb teacher (at night classes in 1989) introduced me to Wilfred Owen that I realised that poetry was the creative medium Iʼd been looking for. After many false starts, here I am writing regularly and reading my efforts to alive audience. Often, they are still alive when Iʼve finished.
Ideas drift by like pollen on the wind. Some you let fly past, someone elseʼs territory. Others you catch, they take hold and flourish. I write about anything which interests me. Much about dementia (Alzheimerʼs has my mother), the natural world (amateur ornithologist) and sometimes music (ageing Indie Rock fan).
I like to be consumed by ideas. Writing poetry is a feeling like no other I know.
After studying pre-20th century literature at university I felt that I knew what was good, but not what I liked. Then I read Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney. I have now been writing regularly, if not prolifically, for ten years or so. Like others, I try to honour particular moments and relationships by capturing their essence in words that might linger in the mind. So musing is good - and sometimes itʼs nice to amuse. I also have to confess to tinkering too much with finished work, as you will already know if you have read this profile before...
I was introduced to poetry via School Poetry Reading Competitions. I then started translating verse both out of, and into, Greek and Latin. At University my major dissertation was on Horace. Apart from the Classics, my reading was limited to the usuals, Tennyson, Keats, Plath etc. I was only encouraged to write my own poetry at Dukes Priory Psychiatric Hospital, where I spent 15 months. I have written verse regularly since and try to explore new styles. My natural style tends to be intense and emotional, but I can lighten up.... honest! I have had 2 books published - sadly, not on poetry yet.
Iʼve written poetry since adolescence. Finding Poetry Aloud has meant that I have an outlet for my work and connecting with other poets has helped my work to develop. Iʼve been attending meetings since July 2008. Knowing that another meeting is coming up is great for jump starting creativity and getting moving on another poem. I also attended an Arvon course at Lumb bank in 2010 which I would recommend to anyone. I like to think Iʼve written some of my best work in the last few years.
I have always enjoyed reading, writing and listening to poetry, but only got involved with other poets after I had met Irene, my second wife. During that time we went to many poetry readings, and I had wanted to create our own local reading group but we were always too busy, So it wasn't until after she died after moving back to Bury St. Edmunds, that following the format originated by Mike Bannister in Halesworth I created what was then CafÃ© Poets in Bury. It has given me great pleasure in seeing the group grow and prosper under the combined efforts of Rob Lock and Colin Whyles.