A New Poet Among Us

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Swindon has a newly published poet. Happy Days!

He is Stephen Daniels and he’s been nurtured over the past few years from a person who showed interest in poetry, then became immersed to where he is now, a highly respected poet. I’ve been advocating in this column for some years that poetry is accessible to everyone. It just requires a visit to an Open Mic to hear other poets read. Then try your hand at writing yourself and join a workshop to improve. Top UK poets based in Swindon will help you to the next step. Stephen is proof.

His pamphlet is called “Tell Mistakes I Love Them” which certainly invites you in. The poems are mainly about family and friends and he certainly has a treasure-trove there for future collections. I really like his poems, the exploration of the everyday with deep dives into sadness, vulnerability and wistfulness, areas we recognise but aren’t always brave enough to explore.

My own small contribution has been to encourage him to write uplifting poems about happiness and love. At the launch he asked me to read a poem for which, he announced, I had been the catalyst. It’s called “The First Person I Ever Hated” which really threw me. WHAT? “No, read it, read it,” he insisted.

Actually it’s about a girl he fancied when young. Here are the last few lines:

after years of pursuit
my position was strongly fixed

to retaliate for all the ridicule
and awkwardness she now dismissed

we scowled at each other
then shared our first kiss

If that touches your heart then buy Stephen’s book at www.stephenkirkdaniels.com. You’ll love it.

First published in Swindon Link