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Showing posts from July, 2019

Interview _ Jacob Lund

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Jacob Lund’s poetry has been published in Openings , the annual anthology of The Open University and in N2 Poetry , London. He has worked as a reviewer for the Daily Telegraph , and has published on Shakespeare in academic journals. He lives in Brighton. In this interview, Jacob talks about his writing: When did you start writing? I only began writing poetry seriously about three years ago, though before that I had been published as a book reviewer for the Daily Telegraph ’s youth magazine Juiced . I have also been a contributor to NATE and EMag , writing mostly on Shakespeare and on literary theory. After a conversation with the poet, short story writer and memoirist Dr. John O’Donoghue, I went home and found quite a lot of half-finished poems, fragments, titles, images – and realised that a few of them were probably worth completing. A friend of mine who teaches at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Sean McEvoy, encouraged me to carry on with the work, and I began by giving

Interview _ Deborah Tyler-Bennett

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Deborah Tyler-Bennett is a poet and fiction writer with eight volumes of poems and three volumes of short linked stories to her credit. She is currently working on her first novel, Livin' in a Great Big Way . Her new volume, Ken Dodd Takes a Holiday , will be out from King's England in 2019. Her poems have also been featured in anthologies that include Bollocks to Brexit: an Anthology of Poems and Short Fiction (CivicLeicester, 2019), Leicester 2084 AD: New Poems about The City (CivicLeicester, 2018) and Welcome to Leicester (Dahlia Publishing, 2016). In an earlier interview , Deborah talked about her concerns as a writer, and some of the influences she draws on. In this new interview, Deborah talks about her latest book, Mr Bowlly Regrets , and about poetry and politics: Do you write every day? I do write everyday: on trains; in caf├ęs; in bars; at home; in other settings. I try and give myself a timetable between teaching Adult Ed creative writing, workshops,

Interview _ Deborah Tyler-Bennett

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Deborah Tyler-Bennett ’s forthcoming volume, Ken Dodd Takes a Holiday , is out from King’s England Press in 2019, and her first novel, Livin’ In a Great Big Way is in preparation for the same publisher. She also has two recent volumes from the same publisher – Mr Bowlly Regrets – Poems , and Brand New Beat: Linked Short Fictions Set in the 1960s (both 2017). She’s had seven collections of poetry published, some previous volumes being Napoleon Solo Biscuits (King’s England, 2015), poems based on growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, and Kinda Keats (Shoestring, 2013), work deriving from a residency at Keats House, Hampstead. Her first collection of linked, 1940s set, short stories, Turned Out Nice Again came out from King’s England in 2013, and a sequel, set in the 1950s, Mice that Roared was published in 2015, Brand New Beat, set in the 1960s , represents the final part of the trilogy. In 2016, The Coffee House Anthology from Charnwood Arts marked the final volume of Coff

Interview _ Gareth Calway

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Gareth Calway is a published poet, novelist, playwright, lyricist and member of folkband, the Penland Phezants . His works include Doin Different (Poppyland, 2016) and Bound for Jamaica  (Collins, 2012). Like Eric Idle and John Major, he resented his birthday (March 29) being stolen for Brexit Day 2019. These poems are his revenge. His poems have also been featured in Bollocks to Brexit: an Anthology of Poems and Short Fiction (CivicLeicester, 2019). In this interview, Gareth talks about his writing: When did you start writing?  At school (late 60s, early 70s). I started by imitating lyrics by 'thinking' groups and artists like the Beatles, Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Hendrix, self-publishing these as lyrics sheets on mock-up fantasy albums by my own fantasy band. At the time, the hippie movement seemed all to my youthful and optimistic mind to be embarked on a search for 'the answer' (many were but some weren't) and I honestly didn’t distinguish much

Interview _ Katherine Cleave

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Katherine Cleave is a Fine Artist living in Barnes. Since graduating from Goldsmiths College, her artwork has been displayed at several London galleries and events. Her work presents an ironic play of words, phrases and images juxtaposed to create a lively stage on which to probe reality. Recent work includes a small collection of poems. In this interview, Katherine talks about her writing: When did you start writing? I started writing during my Thesis in the final year of my BA in Fine Art and Theoretical Criticism. I had based my work on a comparison between the playwright, Luigi Pirandello and the Fine Artist, Jannis Kounellis. The work required a leap of faith but I wanted to show that, in essence, it is not the medium that is important, but the message. I consider myself an artist: sometimes I paint, sometimes I write – with varying degrees of success! How would you describe the writing you are doing? I write poetry. The abstract nature appeals to me and I love the co

Interview _ Trefor Stockwell

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Trefor Stockwell studied English at Bangor University, and has recently completed his PhD in Creative Writing. He now lives on the Isle of Anglesey where he concentrates on writing and performing poetry. Currently he is working on a novel. In this interview, Trefor talks about his writing: When did you start writing? I have always written but have taken it much more seriously since University. My writing efforts are of an eclectic nature: poetry, prose and the occasional article. My audience is anyone who finds my work interesting. Primarily though I write for myself, and if others then enjoy it that’s a bonus. I have never really wanted to be published for the sake of it, but it became an expectation when I started to do post-graduate work on creative writing. Which writers influenced you most? The writers who have influenced me most are: Angela Carter and Salman Rushdie both of whom were cited in my PhD thesis on creative writing. I not only enjoyed their work for

Interview _ Sarra Culleno

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Sarra Culleno  is a London-born, Manchester-based UK poet, a mother of two and an English teacher. She writes about issues that include children’s rights, motherhood, identity, technology and politics. Her work has been published in magazines and anthologies that include Les Femmes Folles (‘Lost in my DMs’, ‘Song of the Young Mother’ and ‘Phone Phantom Pantoum’), Three Drops (‘PMT Virelai’), Hidden Voices (‘Hansel and Gretel, the Woodcutter’s Children’) and in Bollocks to Brexit: an Anthology of Poems and Short Fiction (CivicLeicester, 2019). In 2019, Sarra was longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize and appeared as a featured poet at HerStories Festival, Celebrate Whalley Range, and That’s What She Said (For Books Sake). Readings can be found on her YouTube channel  and through her Instagram  and Twitter  profiles. In this interview, Sarra talks about her writing: When did you start writing? I've always written, but only started sending pieces to publish

Interview _ Paul Francis

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Paul Francis  is a prolific, versatile poet, living in Much Wenlock. He has published two collections, Various Forms and 5-string Banjo , and a range of topical pamphlets. He is active on the local circuit of poetry readings and has been placed in six national poetry competitions. In this interview, Paul talks about his writing: When did you start writing? I wrote my first poem at the age of ten and haven’t stopped since. There wasn’t a clear moment where it could be said I decided I wanted to be a published writer. I’ve always read, so I’ve thought of writers as important, and writing as a worthwhile activity. It’s a natural step from there to think, “Why not me?” How would you describe the writing you are doing? Varied, enjoyable, most of it transitory. When I write, I don’t start from the audience. I start from the writing and then go looking for the audience. For most of what I do, the immediate audience is other writers who go to poetry events around the West Midl