The past three years have been very difficult.
I was awarded an M.A. in Fine Art in January 2014.
I then embarked on a misguided and ultimately fruitless attempt to do a second M.A. in Creative Writing at NTU in October 2015 as a possible precursor to PhD study.
This didn’t work out and was followed by my eventual resignation from my academic post at NTU in December 2015. There were a range of factors which led to my leaving including my wife’s condition and eventual life-threatening illness in October 2016, my own frustration at being treated badly by in my opinion an incompetent and bullying head of art research and finally the destruction of my teaching on the multimedia course for political reasons which became apparent when NTU purchased Confetti later.
Also there was my own undiagnosed depression which I did not realise at the time was affecting me quite badly. I can only now begin to talk about this because of counselling and I think it highly likely I suffered some form of breakdown when attempting to return to work to teach animation studies..something I care less about now than I did then and frankly had little interest in then.
It has been a very rough period but with help I and my wife are now starting to see some daylight. We have both been through a decade of family illness and death which took away both my parents and her sister and father…not easy to deal with when in the best of health..almost impossible when under severe pressure anyway.
I now appreciate the strain and upset mental illness can cause on any relationship….that I still have one at the moment is down to counselling and my wife is getting better…..neither has been a given these past three years.
I also have begun to understand the mental blocks that affected my entire wellbeing and especially my creative practice.
I am writing this because I now feel able to. Talking about it has helped and I also beginning to plan new ventures and possibly still courses including that wretched PhD that has caused me so much grief. But on my terms.
To begin with I am using the habit of going to second hand shops as a generator of new poems under the title ‘Second Hand Poems’. I love charity shops because of the random nature of what turns up like this memoir of D.H.Lawrence’s early years which an appropriate starting point as I live close to Private Road where Lawrence met Frieda …he would have walked up Mansfield Road to get there.
As I discover odd things..books, records even objects I will write poems to celebrate them….a bit like me…
Second Hand Poems from a Second Hand Poet…worn at edges..slightly foxed but maybe still valuable 🙂