Latest chapbook out is “Stubborn Sod” published by Alien Buddha Press, 2019. It is a collaboration with amazing Dutch artist, Marcel Herms. It is the second book in a trilogy called “A Pagan’s Year”, a poetic exploration of pagan festivals and stories. The first volume is called “The Headpoke and Firewedding”. It cover June and July. “Stubborn Sod” covers January to May. The third book is called “Our Ghost’s Holiday” and covers July to December. It has yet to find a publisher.
Welcome, grab a tea, take a comfy seat and enjoy my WordPress site.
My name is Paul Brookes
I am a writer, local historian, genealogist, photographer, shop assistant and grandfather.
I have lived in Wombwell, South Yorkshire for over twenty years. I adore the counter intuitive.
Suckled on ‘Under Milk Wood’, William Blake, T.S.Eliot, Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’, Holst’s ‘The Planets’, in adolescence ‘Waiting For Godot’, Bradburys The Illustrated Man, Brechts Threepenny Opera, Ted Hughes.
At Hull University I had a play performed in the Gulbenkian Theatre called Still Children’.
I was a member of the Bristol Poetry Performance groups ‘Rats For Love’ and ‘Dead Rats On Leave’, performing in venues all over the South West. Amongst others publications I have work in their 1993 Anthology ‘Rats For Love: The Book’.
What am I working on
Completing final book in my four book ‘The Four Gifts’, also called ‘The Four Gifts’, a short mystery, magical novel bringing together themes and characters from two poetry collections:
‘The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley’ and ‘The Place For Breath’, and a collection of Short stories/Radio Piece ‘The Four Songs’
Writing up the rest of my family history history research, that includes the tale of Charles Teft Laurence, Master Mariner, a Victorian tale of apprenticeship, marriage, shipwreck and family tragedy.
Invisible Town (inspired by Italo Calvinos Invisible Cities) and Wombwell early and late strolls are daily tweets building up to a larger work.
How does my work differ from others of its genre.
Strangely, after I had completed most of my family history (2010-2014), I discovered direct connections with my first collection of poetry, The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley (1993).
My ancestor Thomas Laurence was Chairman of the Liverpool Select Vestry that administrated the Liverpool Workhouse, in ‘The Gold’ I recount an experience of Barnsley Workhouse. There are many other connections. If you like, see if you can find them.
My writing poetry/prose is interconnected by recurrent themes, characters. On my blog are early versions of my seven poetry pamphlets:
1. The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley
2. The Place For Breath
(3. The Four Songs (Short stories/Radio Piece) 4. The Four Gifts (Novel))
3. The Bag Bottom Poems (Miscellaneous)
4. The Seven Breaths
5. The Stone Languages
6. The (The Reinvent The Remains) As A Documentary Treatment
7. The Desiccated Bus Shelter
The Cup of Easter Ale (1531), a murder mystery as poetry
The Bleaching Of Richard Peaudane (Historical/Romance poetry/prose)
The Quick Fables (Flash Fiction), covering science fiction, fantasy, extreme realism
My first tweeted children’s story ‘The Wombwell Unicorn’ featuring the young female ghost ‘Blue Mary’. *******
Extracts from Family History Articles
Miscellaneous Articles, including one about how art leads to art, the idea of ‘reverie’ and so on.
Why do I write what I do?
I want to make sense of who I am, where I came from and where I live. An impossible but engrossing job.
I want to make sense of why others live the way they do, who they are and what they do. In the past, it seems, our job or trade defined us and the place where we lived. What do we mean by ‘place’? Landscape?
The importance of dialect and geology in giving a sense of belonging.
I wish to discover the marvellous in the everyday commute.
How does my writing process work
I explore ways of Seeing, ways of telling, ways of making sense.
How we piece what seems absurd into what is reasonable. Incongruity, surrealism, ‘kitchen sink’, super reality.
Using all five senses, all aspects, history, society, encompass all of it.
As for writing process. I have an idea then one of two things happen: I hear the voice then have to really listen and record what it has to say in the way that it says it accurately, or it comes all at once and I’ve all on to get it down.
I sometimes have to return and rewrite as I did not hear the voice clearly the first time.
The voice, monologue in some form, not usually confessional, seems to be my main mode of expression.
A workshop for sixth formers was broadcast on Radio Five Live. And I also read some of my poetry on BBC Radio Bristol. My first pamphlet of poetry was ‘The Fabulous Invention of Barnsley’ favourably reviewed by Ian McMillan, among others. I taught creative writing, literature and local history for the Workers Educational Association for eight years, part time.
I have recently started combining photography and poetry, inspired by Ted Hughes ‘River’.
Writing is landscape, memory, history, dialect is like Burgess’s, Hoban’s language of the future. If you like space for your imagination to work, enjoy inclusiveness, perhaps this is for you.