I have been been publishing Paul's poetry for close on 20 years, yet he remains something of an enigma to me. He is a committed Christian, which sits quite happily with his religious writing and verse for children, but perhaps less comfortably with his erotic or politcal poetry…
Born in Caterham, Surrey in 1956 and the youngest of four children, I have lived most of my life in Surrey, though I have never returned to the town of my birth. I am married to Tina and we have three sons Ben, Josh and Sam. Tina and the boys provide a great deal of inspiration for my writing. The family is actively involved in our local church, where Tina also teaches Sunday school.
Almost all of my working life has been spent in warehousing and distribution, or what is now fashionably referred to as Logistics. After 22 years in my last position I was made redundant and I now work as a custody assistant for the Surrey police force.
When I first decided to try and get published a literary agent told me:
“I do not represent poets because there is more poetry being written than there is being read”.
I have always believed this to be as a result of unreadable poetry being published and that it might help if the publishers were to review the content of their publications and print poetry that people actually want to read.
This little gem is included on one literary publications submissions page.
“If you do not read much contemporary poetry, or if you write poetry 'as a hobby', we're unlikely to be interested in your work. You may disagree, but we believe that no one can write poetry of quality unless they read other poets and are in touch with the literary culture”.
How patronizing and pretentious is that.
I have also discovered amongst the non-poets that there is a popular misconception that poets are a bunch of high brows who are typically angst ridden, corduroyed and sandal clad who believe that poetry must be deeply meaningful and full of literary significance and/or unintelligible.
In my case I believe in the simple premise that if the poems meaning is not obvious to the reader then I have written it badly.
I think Poetry can be relevant or not but it doesn’t need to be deep and it can be funny in fact humour is a great tool to get a message across and above all it can rhyme.
I have lost count of the number of times I have read on submission pages “no rhymes”. And don’t get me started on Haiku, Tanka and other assorted word games.
I have been writing for about twenty five years - principally for my own amusement, although I have had some success getting my work published also. I mainly write poetry, which varies greatly in length - from two lines to 20,000 words - and in subject, though I favour humour. I also write short biography, anecdotes, short stories, and articles. My longest piece thus far is a 20,000 word adaptation of Charles Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol' in verse, which I have used as the core of a Christmas book which contains history, origins, Myth and Legend about the Christmas season which I have titled "The Christmas Companion".
My work has been published in Earth Love, Decanto, The Journal, Green Queen, Windhover, Pennine Ink, Jaam Tracks, Splitz, Dial 174, Select Six, Cafe Del Soul, The Farcehaven Tribune, Funny Paper, Roundyhouse, Mina's Poems, We Love Poems, Allpoems, Romance Adventure, Autumn Leaves, Dreamers Reality and The Mozzie. I also have my own section on the 'Now You Know' website.