A newcomer to the Suffolk poetry scene, having moved here in 2013, I started attending Poetry Aloud in September 2014. I was born in London and lived in Essex for 25 years. I had been writing poetry since seeing Roger McGough and Brian Patten perform at a music gig in Walthamstow when I was 15, but it didn’t occur to me to show it to anyone until I joined the Southend Poetry group in 1986.
In 1999 I joined a poetry workshop led by Matthew Sweeney and Maurice Riordan at Morley Collage. From 2001 to 2004 I attended the late Michael Donaghy’s workshop at City University.
I have been helping organise the Essex Poetry Festival since 2001.
My first pamphlet ‘Postcards to Olympus‘ was published when it won the Poetry Monthly Book Award in 2004. My first collection ‘ EverydayObjects, Chance Remarks‘ was published by the Littoral Press in 2005. A second pamphlet ‘unconcerned but not indifferent: The life of Man Ray.‘ was published by the Ninth Arrondissement Press in 2006, and I was fortunate to asked to take part in a launch reading at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris for this.
In 2014 I completed an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College.
If all this hasn’t bored you, you can find out more at www.derek-adams.co.uk
Replacing the Glass Using an old knife to spread putty like butter along the window frame, the oily aroma does that thing again; conjures ‘White Lodge’ where we spent two weeks each June, the conservatory, glass replaced after the last Winter storm. We would sit in the evening Granddad with his Guinness, Mum with her Pyms and me with a bottle of Fanta, looking out across the sea, watching the lights of ships bound for Calais or Dover. And on nights when the fog rolled in listening to the beached whale cry from the new lighthouse at Dungeness as its fresnel lens swung round its yellowed beam spreading slowly like butter along the window frame. Copyright © 2015 Derek Adams
Brownie Six-20 camera model F Hold it like this says Dad then hands me the box, its light brown leatherette surface, a thin skin, organic alive to my fingertips. He points to a deep ruby port hole Turn the knob till a number appears I do and it does. Now look in here and that is when it happens; the small, convex, rectangular finder is a magic prism, Alice’s looking glass a window to frame another world: turn chaos to order, select patterns, define light and shadow. And when you are ready press here a dull click, that echoes in my head as the final piece falls into place, in my hands I have a Tardis that traps light, space and time. Copyright © 2015 Derek Adams
Coup de Foudre, Paris 1937 Roland '..felt as if he had been struck by lightning, the Surrealists' prized coup de foudre.' Was it your eyes sparkle; that defracting prism break reflected on my retina, impulses sparking morse along the optic nerve, moving my magneto brain, spinning kaleidoscope thoughts to set my pulse racing. Or did immortal Eros fire a quantum tipped arrow into my heart, splitting one of its atoms releasing electrons and protons bounding and rebounding through a multiverse of possibles each revolving round your gravitational pull. Or was it simply lightning striking my head sending positives and negatives to trip synapses like a fuse board, frizzing my hair and melting my soles against the earth. Copyright © 2016 Derek Adams