Category Archives: Biography

INKSPILL Introduces Guest Poet Antony Owen

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BIOGRAPHY: ANTONY OWEN 

Antony Owen was born in Coventry and was raised by working class parents. His poetry subjects are diverse with a general focus on forgotten people and the consequences of international and domestic conflicts.

He is the author of five poetry collections by Pighog / Heaventree / Hesterglock /  and most recently V  Press .

His work has appeared in several literary journals worldwide including Magma, International Times plus translated works in both Dutch and Japanese war poetry anthologies by Poetry International Europe and Coal Sack Press (Japan).

In 2015 Owen self-funded a trip to Hiroshima to interview A-bomb survivors and meet various schools who have been taught some of his poems. His work has been exhibited at various peace centres including the International Convention Centre, Hiroshima.

In recognition of his work, CND Peace Education UK selected Owen as a patron in 2015 alongside award winning writer AL Kennedy.

Other past recognitions include being selected to meet Irish President Michael D. Higgins in 2014 on the first state visit to the UK by an Irish President. This was to acknowledge Owen’s voluntary work on co-organising the Coventry / Cork twin city poetry exchange.

SOURCE: https://antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com/vitae-2/

His latest collection  The Nagasaki Elder was launched with V. Press this year. It is the result of years of work. It is a powerful collection (understatement) and is much needed in this world. Launched in September and currently on the 2nd print run.

You can buy a copy from the INKSPILL Bookshop.INKSPILL BOOKSHOP

https://antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com/

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Bridges Over the Wall – Antony reading at the Peace Poetry Vigil – Coventry Cathedral.

Antony arranged a voluntary peace poetry vigil for victims of conflict at the Chapel of Unity (Coventry Cathedral) on Sat February 4th.

This poignant remembrance project titled ‘Bridges over the wall” will consist of bridging poetry and spoken word for those without a voice from places of conflict across the world. The event will also bridge conflicts past and present eulogising those affected from the bombings of places like Coventry, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki to recent conflicts in Syria and Yemen. During the course of the vigil hundreds of dedicated poems will be read by Owen and selected poets throughout Warwickshire and beyond. Owen also plans to engage a local school and refugees to take part. For each poem read a candle will be lit in the Chapel of Unity creating a universal candle for world peace made up from places of conflict and peace poems.

Owen said “I wanted to show the social conscience of poetry and how important the role of art is in these difficult times. It is vital in these hard times that we build bridges to bring each other together and not walls to keep us apart. War poetry historically has always shed a light from the darkness of war and evoked some sense of the senseless”

Owen also acknowledged how Coventry was the first city in the world to twin with another (Stalingrad in 1944) and wanted to keep that spirit of reciprocal remembrance alive, Owen said

“In 1944 it was 900 of our women from Coventry who demonstrated human empathy to civilians caught up in the battle of Stalingrad, they embroidered their names on a tablecloth and sent messages of sympathy to the women of Stalingrad for the huge losses they suffered in World War II and their message was this: “From our city of Coventry, scarred and ravaged by the arch enemy of civilisation, our hearts go out to you, who now face slaughter and suffering even more fearful”.

About the Event

Coventry now has 27 twin cities and Owen plans to contact as many of them as possible to share news of this event. The Chapel of Unity is a consistent beacon of remembrance and for decades has been a centre point of remembrance including the annual remembrance event for Hiroshima & Nagasaki where civilians of those cities also remember victims of the Coventry blitz. The vigil will be further enhanced by a separate event in the main Cathedral taking place in the afternoon which will bring Coventry Cathedral boy choristers together with those of Derby Cathedral, Leicester Cathedral and Southwell Minster for a combined service to take place separately from the vigil. They will be rehearsing in the Nave during the afternoon from about 2 pm and so providing a gentle backdrop to the Peace Vigil as it continues in the Chapel of Unity. Antony Owen hopes as many people will come to support this peace vigil by asking for a poem to be read for a place they want to be remembered. Optional donations to the Chapel of Unity and/or Cathedral can be made directly in the allocated boxes for any poems read and/or the other event in the main Cathedral. Please note that whilst entry to the Chapel of Unity is free of charge there is a separate fee to visit the Cathedral. 

About Antony Owen

Antony Owen is an acclaimed and prolific author with four poetry collections. Some of his poems have been translated in Mandarin, Dutch, and Japanese in notable anthologies by Poetry international (Europe) and Coal Sack Press (Japan). Following a self-funded trip to Hiroshima in 2015 to interview A-bomb survivors amongst other work Owen was awarded the winner of Coventry’s 2016 Peace & reconciliation award at the Coventry Community Cohesion Awards. In recognition of his work, CND Peace Education UK selected Owen as their first male UK patron in 2015 alongside award winning writer AL Kennedy.

©2017 – Coventry City of Peace

INKSPILL: Guest Writer Introducing Gaia-Rose Harper

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Introducing Gaia-Rose Harper our youngest guest writer. We are delighted she agreed to an interview and are grateful for her time, given to us for free. If you ever have a chance to see Gaia read, I urge that you do so. As you will hear from the video clips and audio, she is a wonderful reader.

I was fortunate enough to be in Ludlow for ‘Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room’ when Gaia made her debut performance and despite her nerves, she captivated the audience. I was mesmerised. Her work is deeply layered, well researched and polished with quality. Like Gaia, I was a young poet once, first published at 15 but my early works are not a patch on Gaia’s. It isn’t just the themes which run beyond her teenage years. The depth, wisdom, brilliance and obvious love of language contained in her work, raises it to that place many writers hope to reach.

Gaia Harper is a Young Poet from Shropshire who won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in 2015 (aged 14) for her poem ‘Columbia Calling’.

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Gaia is a 15 year old poet and winner of the Foyle Young Poets’ of the Year Award 2015. Her work has been published in Write On! magazine, and she has performed in a number of places, including the Wenlock Poetry Festival 2016. Gaia is an avid artist, lover of classical languages, and aspiring filmmaker.

 

INKSPILL – Introducing Roy McFarlane

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Photograph: Roy’s Book Launch – Beginning with your last breath Published by Nine Arches Press 2016

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Roy McFarlane is one of our three Guest Writers. He has worked really hard on producing a workshop programme for INKSPILL 2016, we are grateful for all his time and effort. We are also happy that through the process of writing for us, we have inspired Roy to create his own series of writing posts which he will be releasing at the end of 2016/2017. We will keep our followers posted on those, so if you haven’t already, please follow the blog. One click, done – easy!


Roy McFarlane can be found online here http://roymcfarlane.com/

Roy was born in Birmingham and now living in the Black Country. He has held the role of Birmingham Poet Laureate and Starbuck Poet in Residence.
His writing has appeared in magazines, Under the Radar, The Reader, The Cannon’s Mouth and The Undertow Review. His poems have been included in anthologies, Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe 2012) and he’s the co-editor and writer for Celebrate Wha? (Smokestack 2011).

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He’s presently performer in residence for Warwickshire Poetry Voices and his debut collection Beginning with your last breath is published by Nine Arches Press.

About

Roy has several years’ experience within the world of poetry; crossing over and collaborating with the world of theatre, working along with musicians and dancers, running workshops, projects and training in many different settings, giving young people and adults the knowledge and skills to be the poets and performers of today and tomorrow.

Roy has developed Mentoring/ Arts scheme helping young people to be inspired, to promote confidence and give opportunities for qualifications and future employment. Roy has also developed numerous arts and education packages and tailored workshops to be used in schools, communities and events.

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Writing

I remember being introduced to Langston Hughes The Negro Speaks of Rivers which blew my mind, inspired me to write words that spoke of my world, my journey, my being but more importantly the profound possibilities of sculpturing or painting with words.

I’m constantly in conversation with any format of art, past and present. Art which proposes a truth through what is seen and what is lived; often leading to truths that reflect on the micro and macro aspects of the world around us.
I write for the joy and love of it, the spark that troubles you in the midnight hour, the thought that follows you in a dream, the ache that wakes you up, the inspiration that makes you write on the margins of a newspaper; it’s all part of the reason for writing poetry.

© 2016 roymcfarlane.com


RELATED LINKS:

2009 – Roy McFarlane BBC Interview

Roy McFarlane talks performance poetry Arts & Culture Performance Poetry

http://ninearchespress.com/publications/poetry-collections/beginning%20with%20your%20last%20breath.html

INKSPILL Day 1 Meet Our Guest Writers

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INKSPILL 2015

Meet our Guest Writers for 2015, who have generously given their time for free to give us insights into their writing lives.

GUEST David Calcutt

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David Calcutt is a playwright, poet and novelist. He has written many plays for the professional stage, community and youth theatre, as well as original plays and adaptations for BBC Radios 3 and 4. Several of his plays for young people are published by Oxford University Press, including “The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty”, “Lady Macbeth”, “Beowulf” and “Dracula”.

He also has three novel for young people published by Oxford University Press, and one by Barefoot Books, “Robin Hood”. His poetry appears widely in both print and online magazine, and he has published three pamphlets of poetry: “Outlaws” by Iron Press, and “Road Kill” and “Through the Woods” by Fairacre Press.

David has worked as a resident writer in care homes, St. Giles Hospice and a community garden and has also both written and directed several large-scale community plays. His most recent work for theatre is the one-man play, “The Life and Times of the Tat Man” which is currently still on tour with Regional Voice Theatre.

GUEST Alison May

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Alison is a novelist, short story writer, blogger who grew up in North Yorkshire, and now lives in Worcester. She worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, a freelance trainer, and now a maker-upper of stories, and novel-writing tutor.

She won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Elizabeth Goudge trophy in 2012, and her short stories have been published by Harlequin, Choc Lit and Black Pear Press.

 

GUEST Daniel Sluman

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Daniel Sluman is a poet who was born in Oxford, in 1986. He started writing poetry when he embarked on a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2008. Since then he has been published widely in UK based print journals and e-zines. His poems have appeared widely in journals such as Cadaverine, Popshot, Shit Creek Review, and Under the Radar.

He received an MA in Creative & Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire in 2012 and his debut full-length collection, Absence has a weight of its own, was published in 2012. His second collection, ‘the terrible’, will be published Autumn/Winter 2015, also with Nine Arches Press.

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BOOKS BY ALL OUR GUEST WRITERS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE INKSPILL SHOP – OPENING SOON

Introducing Daniel Sluman

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Daniel Sluman

Daniel Sluman is a UK Poet, his second collection comes out later this year – I am proud to announce that we will be blogging and promoting Daniel’s forthcoming collection, here at A Writers Fountain.

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Sonia Hendy-Isaac
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Throughout the coming months I will be hosting all things Daniel Sluman. We appreciate re-blogs and shares on your social media.

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Daniel is published by Nine arches Press, a highly sought publisher, they are actually the first Publisher in Residence this year at the Wenlock Poetry Festival (April), and are also publishing Jo Bell (Kith) and Sarah Leavesley later this year too.

Introducing Daniel

Daniel Sluman’s poems have appeared widely in journals such as Cadaverine, Popshot, Shit Creek Review, and Under the Radar. He received an MA in Creative & Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire in 2012 and his debut full-length collection, Absence has a weight of its own, was published in 2012. His second collection, ‘the terrible’, will be published Autumn/Winter 2015, also with Nine Arches Press. He tweets here.

LINKS

Follow this link to buy/ find out more about Daniel’s first collection ‘Absense has a weight of its own’.

http://www.ninearchespress.com/publications/poetry-collections/absence-has-a-weight-of-its-own.html

© 2014 Nine Arches

© 2014 Nine Arches

Daniel’s first collection reviewed by Amy McCauley

‘Dealing with a poet of extreme integrity.’

http://www.drfulminare.com/slumanreview.php

LOOK OUT FOR OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL SLUMAN COMING SOON!