A. LEE FIRTH
I was born in the last place in Pontefract and spent most of my life living in the last place in Barnsley, but now home is the centre of Doncaster. Due to being actually born in the wrong place at the wrong time the world I now inhabit isn't mine, and never really has been; and therefore like a tormented Russian peasant there is always far too much poetry in my head and vodka in my glass: a very dangerous combination.
Estranged from mainstream society ( I was pushed, I never jumped, your Honour) I tend to experiment in form, language and subject matter. Minimalism, nihilism, and imagism predominate when I'm writing for the page and I've spent several years looking for ( or devising ) an appropriate word for a piece of work with a title longer than the poem itself. However, when I'm writing for performance there's always a tendency towards surrealism and poetry of the absurd; adaptation of found texts, outrageous suppositions, alternative ( yet plausible ) realities and incessant wordplay. In effect, a much nicer world.
With a natural staccato delivery I ought to look good in stilletos, but probably don't; not a syllable is wasted in my work and every performance is a personal engagement with the audience: there's no set running order or pre-rehearsed patter. It's poetry in the raw, usually with my clothes on. I absolutely love performing.
Born May 22nd 1962, Hemsworth, near Pontefract. Lived entire life within ten miles of Doncaster. Attended same school as late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes ( but many years later ). Single. No children. No pets. No smoking.
Several hundred poems published in various small press magazines and anthologies since 1988, three slim collections produced and intermittent performer/reader at venues throughout Yorkshire.
Hobbies include hiking on the local moors, attending the theatre and listening to worldband radio. As is often the case, at the moment I've got too much energy and don't necessarily know what to do with it.
Although I've spent the vast majority of my life to date in small tight-knit and rather oppresive and repressive, now former mining communities; I find it extremely difficult to write directly about this experience. I tend to concentrate on the poetry of consequence; what might happen if...? Therefore parodies and reinterpretations of found texts and dialogues predominate in my performances - classified ads, estate agents' over optimistic write-ups, the language of street furniture and promotional literature.. I like to think I'm as much a philosopher as I am a poet/performer and so often attempt difficult and complex subjects, yet I'm sure my work is accessible and entertaining or else I wouldn't be writing it.
Unlike many in the poetry establishment I don't incorporate obscure classical references or any overtly religious concepts into my work and don't intend that there is any party political bias in what I have to say: some, if not most, of my ideas are well beyond the reach of traditional Westminster politics. I do not write to deliberately offend or mock, but my work is of an adult nature and can on occasions be quite provocative.