Strange things happen, quite out of the blue I found myself writing a poem. Hitherto, I had considered myself incapable of doing such a thing. I enjoy poetry and I admire the people who can write it, but never me. My favourite book in the world is Verse and Worse a collection of poems by Arnold Silcock, acquired when I was about 13 and a constant source of pleasure and inspiration. At school my worst subject by far was English Language, I suspect at least in part because I am on the dyslexic spectrum, something I only had confirmed when I started my belated academic studies.

So why did I start writing poetry, not just one poem, but lots of poems, why do I keep getting the urge? Maybe it's an age thing, it may be something to do with the amount of writing I have been doing since I started my academic study. I think I was prompted and motivated by the nostalgic reflections I have been experiencing whilst researching my MA dissertation and now my PhD thesis.  Eighteen months after the initial scribble, I find myself with a collection of poems and nostalgic words. I self-published my first book of poetry using Blurb, sadly there has not been a rush of purchases. I have continued to write poetry avidly since that first inspirational moment I experienced whilst driving in the car on my way to Uni one day. Curiously sitting in the car or on the bog are two places that have proved particularly inspirational, verbal diarrhoea perhaps...

For the record, since I retired in 2006 I have acquired a BA (Hons) 1st in Fine Art, an MA in Contemporary Art Research and a PhD in Contemporary Art Studies. My main tropes are decay in general and as a metaphor for the frailty of memory, snapshot photography and its relationship with memory and social communication. The title of my PhD thesis was The Snapshot: A Phatic, Socially Constructed, Mnemonic Technology.

Alistair J Parker

Updated: 28th March 2018

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