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Photo - Dez Paradise

beat poems & anxious gasps

I have been writing poems as long as I can remember - originally inspired by my mother June Wall. Mum would submit poems to the local press on issues of community debate - often taking the side of those that had been chastised in the letters page, such as the cider drinking teenagers hanging out in town or the bands whose rehearsal space at the church hall was under threat. This was my introduction to the power of poetry.

Then in my teens it was Bowie and Lou Reed followed by Patti Smith, Richard Hell and Leonard Cohen - whilst reading the beats and Rimbaud. My band got to play with John Cooper Clarke and Patrik Fitzgerald - inspiration all around.

Whilst I was always writing poems and mixing them in with more regular lyrics for my various bands it was that breakdown moment that really focused a return to pure written word (as it seems to be for many). So during the noughties I got a few poems published in zines and produced a tiny booklet of poems just to sell at gigs.

Somewhere along the way I picked up on old Buddhist poetry and of course Bukowski! I set up as a virtual cafe space where myself and a developing community of 'outsider' poets could share. At the age of 56 I performed at my first poetry slam and enjoyed it. I think my mum would approve.

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