My creative writing began in 1985 when I joined Jane Elder’s Creative Writing class. At that time I had no idea what this meant. My thought was was to learn how to improve my style in writing technical articles for the trade press as well as for data sheets and press releases. By profession I am an industrial chemist who makes industrial cleaning products see the Chela web site for details if you are interested to find out more about this aspect of my life. After a year at medical school in London, I dropped out as I realised that I did not have the memory to be a doctor and enrolled in a technical college to study chemistry part time. I am now a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry so the ONC part-time study route can work! Back to creative writing, we spent much time writing autobiography and I was surprised to find that others were as interested to hear my work as I was to hear theirs. It was a great and weird group and by and by Valerie joined. My then wife died and Valerie’s husband left her and we got together and are now married. Soon after Valerie joined I started to write poetry.
One of the founders of Enfield Poets with Valerie and the late Jane Elder in April 2000 when it was known as Salisbury House Poets we moved to the Dugdale Centre and Theatre and changed the name to Enfield Poets. Here we have regular evenings and also put on shows in the Dugdale Theatre. and I am very pleased to have performed there most notably alongside Carol Ann Duffy, Andrew Motion and with Special edition a jazz quartet dedicated to performing with poets. A new venture is to set my poems to music, and performing them to my music with acoustic guitar.
My pamphlet, The Reek of Alchemy, features poems that reflect my other life as an industrial chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Perhaps most of my poems are based on personal experience, my childhood, and travels both for work and holiday, and range from street scenes in Dubai to the industrial heritage of Enfield. Some are inspired by early Egyptian and Sumerian poetry, especially that of Enheduanna, the first known poet writing in Sumer about 2300 BCE. I try to place the reader right at the heart of every poem with detail and, almost, tactile imagery- I like to paint a picture with words.