Author and Poet
It takes a bit of nerve to describe yourself as a poet. After all, think of the competition! Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Dryden, Tennyson, Eliot, Heaney...
But all it means is that you write poetry. And a poem can be as short as this one:
My favourite poem:
...or as long as Milton’s Paradise Lost.
I started writing poetry when I was a small boy, and continued through my student years into my twenties, when I published a collection called The New World through The Three Tygers Press in Cambridge. After that, all I wrote in the way of poetry was a bit of light verse for anniversaries and so forth, and some lyrics for songs.
Then, when I turned 50, I decided to start writing poetry seriously, diligently and professionally. I made a promise to myself not to leave a first line hanging, and to complete whatever I started. The next promise was to send everything I wrote to one magazine or another, and to keep a list. Slowly, I began to get poems published, by Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Wales, Borderlines, Fourteen, Candelabrum and various other magazines. In the meantime I had been writing children’s poetry, and put a collection together called Animals, Beasts and Creatures. This can be found at http://www.poetrysalzburg.com/abc.htm
Writing poetry can be a solitary activity, but it isn’t a lonely one, as you have your readers in mind as you write. I also like to write for composers, and I have had the good fortune to have had several poems set to music. There are many composers working in Wales who particularly like writing for voice: Mervyn Burtch, Ross Cohen (writing as Sancho Engano), Peter Reynolds, Dan Phelps. Each of these has set poems or librettos of mine, and one of my greatest pleasures is to hear words I have written being sung to somebody else’s tune.
My latest published work, The Wood below Coelbren is a collection of 60 poems written in the contemporary poetry style inspired by life, history and landscapes in Wales.