Though some of the poems in Oscar the Pike & other (Potteries) Poems (ISBN 978-0-9928803-7-8) go back a few years, the book was put together over the course of 2015 with a great deal of writing and re-writing. Then there were the graphics…

Keen to in some way illustrate the poems without simply duplicating what is said by the text, I looked to graphics starting as photos taken in and around the Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent. These then underwent various changes digitally, until I had something that ran in parallel to the text either as sympathetic abstract narrative (in the case of ‘Oscar the Pike’) or as mood-setters. Further drawings were added – the magpies, for instance, to the poem entitled Finders Keepers, the ape silhouettes through The Creative Ape, and the rather quirky (schoolboy-jotter-type drawings) characters in the bus stop queue (that I hope are fun!) in 50 Years On.

Here’s how Foxlowe Arts Centre (Leek) billed it at the reading gig there…Factory apprentices, mythical fish, informal after-school sports, local landmarks and the changing face of the ‘our’ local high street all put in an appearance, as the author uses text and projected drawings and graphics, to share some experiences of growing up in the north-west.