Which is to say, me.
I was born in Ipswich, Suffolk in 1964 to parents Martin and Sylvia. This was a few months before Wholly Communion at
the Royal Albert Hall catalysed what might be called, though not with complete accuracy, the British poetry renaissance that
saw the spectacular flame-out of Harry Fainlight, along with the ascendency of poetry heroes like Chris Torrance, Dave Cunliffe
and Bill Wyatt. The proximity of my birth to a drunken Allen Ginsberg ringing finger bells and drunkenly urinating himself
that night in London may or may not be a coincidence, but since I was old enough to be aware of anything--so that is, at about
18--I've considered myself both a poet and a child of the Beat/ hippie/ counter-cultural movements that frightened and disgusted
everybody so much in the decade of my birth (though bohemia existed before the Sixties and lives on even now).
At 18, after an epiphany of sorts listening to poet Bob Dylan, I began writing my own verse. It wasn't much good--some
would say it still isn't--but the direction was set. Since then I've written acres of poetry, some of which has been published
here and there in little magazines and on the internet. I would list the publications but in my experience, doing that often
comes across as a kind of bragging, or worse--an attempt to cajole editors into publishing you by appealing to the sheep instinct
that bleats tremulously inside many of them: this or that guy has done it, shouldn't you?
The main influences poetically are Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, along with Basho, Issa, Buson, Han Shan and Li Po.
But mixed up with that is a love of Ezra Pound--the appeal of elevated thought and language so unfashionable in these post-Bukowski
times--and the irresistible influence of geography: I am, after all, English--I think like Kingsley Amis or Ted Hughes at
times, though I tried for many years to deny it--and I can't help admiring the scathing wit of our old satirical poets like
Pope and Dryden. I venerate the Beats but a well-aimed and deftly-loaded rhyming couplet seems to me a powerful weapon
We mustn't be pedants, dismissing what we don't know because someone told us it was wrong. Our arguments poetically have
to be the arguments of this day and time we're in, not the leftovers of another decade and polysyllabically-named lit period.
I can be reached, if you would like to discuss precisely where you think poetry is in 2006, at email@example.com
. The most interesting responses may be published on one of the Blue Fred sites.