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MARY EMEJI – POET LAUREATE/ FOUNDER
Mary Emeji is a talented lady poet and lawyer, living in Luton, Bedfordshire. She holds an LLB(Hons) Law degree and LLM in Commercial Law (with Distinction), both from University of Bedfordshire. Aside from her legal career, Mary has always had an ardent passion for poetry and began writing poems whilst high school; often reciting them in open events. Her first book 'THE BOND OF LOVE' was published in 2009, and other books have followed since: THE LOVE OF GOD (2010), 'ROYAL LUMINOSITY (2011), TIMELESS DATE (2012) and FUNDAMENTALITY (2013) . Mary has performed at various poetry events in Luton, Wokingham, London, and Bedford.
Mary was the featured poet in the Luton ‘LIFE’ magazine (February 2011 issue). She presented her very first book THE BOND OF LOVE to the Deputy Mayor of Luton - Cllr. Mohammed Farooq at the summer festival in August 2010. In October 2010, she was the featured Poet of Luton for the Black History Month, by the Luton Library/ Luton Culture. Mary has received Royal Acknowledgements from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in respect of her four books 'ROYAL LUMINOSITY' (2011- dedicated to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), 'TIMELESS DATE' (2012- co-written with William Shakespeare), 'FUNDAMENTALITY' and 'PULCHRITUDE' in 2014. Immensely encouraged by this, she continues to work hard at what she loves doing best - poetry!
In June 2011, Mary founded the Luton Poetry Society, with the fundamental purpose of promoting fellow poets, and motivating upcoming ones. As the Motto goes “Bringing Poetry To Life", this group aims to extend the vibes of poetry to the lengths and breadths of Luton town, through poetry events. All who love to write, read or listen to poetry are very much welcome to join!
LUTON POET LAUREATE
Mary was appointed the Poet Laureate of Luton by the Mayor Cllr. Syd Knight, which was announced at the Luton Poetry Festival on 1st September 2012. Greatly satisfied by Mary’s countless efforts to encourage poetry in Luton, the Mayor said of her, “I am very impressed with the amount of work Mary has done in a relatively short time to promote the work of poetry in Luton. We do need to raise the profile of our poets in Luton, and she has done a lot to make that happen.” Mary describes her new appointment as ‘a thrill’ as she stated “I’ve always found joy in writing and reading poetry, which led to my creating a forum whereby Luton poets can come together and share their poems. I am thrilled at being made Poet Laureate, and will continue to do my best to promote poetry readings throughout Luton.” She was one of the guest speakers at the annual Women's Day event hosted by the Mayoress of Luton at the Town Hall in October 2012, and has visited other branch libraries in the town to promote and encourage poetry. She held a poetry session at the University of Bedfordshire (where she studied), meeting with literary students and giving them a forum to perform their poems/ writings in October 2012.
On National Poetry Day (4th October 2012), Mary was the Resident Poet on BBC Three Counties Radio; talking about poetry, reading her poems and taking calls from local poets. Her poem 'Simplicity' was short-listed for the National Poetry Anthology Competition 2012 (United Press) and published in the Anthology 'A GATHERING OF MINDS'. Her other poem 'The Angel Star' won the National Poetry Day Competition run by the Bedfordshire Libraries in October 2012. She was featured as Poet Laureate in 'Luton At Large' magazine in November 2012, in the University of Bedfordshire News in December 2012 ( http://www.beds.ac.uk/news/2012/december/graduate-appointed-poet-laureate-of-luton), and in Luton 'LIFE' magazine in January 2013. Her latest features appear in 'Luton News' - March 2014, Luton At Large magazine - March 2014, University of Bedfordshire News - March 2014, and Herald and Post Newspaper - April 2014. (Please visit the 'PRESS' page to read more)
Mary was one of the guest speakers chosen by the Mayoress of Luton, Mrs. Imeda Knight for the International Women's Day event on 8th March 2013, at the Luton Borough Council Chambers, and Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for Bedfordshire - HELEN NELLIS greatly commended her poetry work. Already featured in the religious poetry anthology 'I BELIEVE' (United Press 2013), Mary was chosen by United Press as one of the top ten poets in the UK, and published in the anthology 'TEN OF THE BEST' 2013. She was also featured as the Resident Poet Laureate on BBC Three Counties Radio on 14th April 2013 to celebrate the National Poetry Month. She partook in the task of writing a poem a day for the whole month!
Her all-time favourite poets are William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) and Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894).
THE BOND OF LOVE (2009): A collection of poems on love, friendship and commitment; shedding light on the feelings, happiness, and challenges of true love. Bursting with romantic vibes, these poems would tug at the reader’s heartstrings, as they drift off to the realm of affection.
THE LOVE OF GOD (2010): A collection of inspirational poems on God’s love for all mankind; love so strong, ever constant and infinitely vast. Filled with spiritual inspiration, this book portrays the immense joy and peace that flows from divine friendship with God; a much needed solace amidst the troubles and uncertainties of this present life. This book is filled with words of vibrant faith; reflecting Mary’s spiritual beliefs and her roles as a Lay Reader and Eucharistic Minister in ‘Our Lady, Help of Christians Church’ (Luton). The book received a foreword from Bishop Peter Doyle, Catholic Bishop of Northampton diocese.
ROYAL LUMINOSITY (2011): Co-published with English poet Alan Rainer, for Prince William and Princess Catherine (on their wedding - 29th April 2011). This collection of poems reflects the themes of royal love, marriage, happiness, contemplation and the deep realities of life. This book received a royal acknowledgment from Her Majesty The Queen, and from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
TIMELESS DATE (2012): Co-written with the great William Shakespeare!
Witness a time travel in words, as Mary connects her poems with William's in a timeless friendship spanning across four centuries......beneath the ageless sky. Written in both old and new English. Discover the mind of William, through the mind of Mary (his mother's namesake).
FUNDAMENTALITY (2013) - "Finding you in you"
This book brings out the best of YOU - sustaining through seasons, elevating in awareness and most importantly sufficient through tides.
“The voice of Mary Emeji is one of the authentic poet. This authenticity of who and what we are and the beautiful spaces in between of just simply being, envelops the reader like a gentle stream and also like a cascading waterfall. Mary’s new collection of poems Fundamentality explores our essential self; it unveils the essential us, the other us, not defined by objects of desire and the perpetual power of attainment, but realised by being our true self.” ---Hilda Morley, Poet
PULCHRITUDE (2014) - "Everything beautiful and true..."
An in-depth look at life, nature, the world around us...and our perception of these. Look again, and be swayed in the beauty of so many things we overlook. Life is beauty, life is truth.
"Inspired writing needs little praise but these are poems of coherence and perception, which show an understanding of life and faith. Mary's dynamic approach to life breathes through every line and artwork, and there is a cordial generosity in her appraisal of the rich tapestry of homespun life. She even takes us on a 'galaxy walk'."---Alan Rainer, Poet, Editor
MY FRIEND THE SUN (2016) - "Nature is yours and mine..."
A tribute to the Sun in bright, warm poems that elevate and scintillate. The Sun shines through every page shedding new light on dark situations and giving energy to the weary mind. There is sunshine on magical gardens, a date with the Sun at Luton's Stockwood Park, the breeze of flowers confetti, and glistening sunshine that dispels gloom. Sunshine to enlighten and enliven, to nourish and flourish, to daze and amaze, to dazzle and bedazzle. These heartfelt poems well-accompanied by lustrous paintings create an enchanting luminosity that lingers way after the book closes...and the dreams begin!
A GATHERING OF MINDS (United Press - 2012)
I BELIEVE (United Press 2013)
TOP TEN POETS OF 2013 (United Press)
For copies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up one during our meetings or at Mary's events (view diary).All Mary's books can be purchased from our 'Web Store' or by email if not listed at the Web Store. Also on Amazon and many online retailers, and for rent at libraries.
Mary 's official Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Emeji-Poet/191167304227723
J.S. WATTS - POET
Although she has family connections to Luton, J.S.Watts was born and grew up in North West London. She now lives and writes in East Anglia. In between, she read English at Somerville College, Oxford and spent many years working in the education sector. She remains committed to the ideals of further and higher education despite governments of assorted political persuasions trying to demolish them.
Her poetry, short stories and book reviews appear in a variety of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States. In particular, her poetry has appeared in Acumen, Brittle Star, Envoi, Orbis and The Journal and has been broadcast on Independent Radio. Her short fiction has featured on BBC Radio. She is Poetry Reviews Editor for Open Wide Magazine and, until recently, was Poetry Editor for Ethereal Tales. Her debut poetry collection, Cats and Other Myths (ISBN 9781907276644) is published by Lapwing Publications. It is a work that finds contemporary relevance in the echoes of myth and legend and the mythic in the day to day world around us. In May 2011 it was chosen as Poetry Kit Book of the Month and has been variously described as "a magnificent collection", "full of wonder" and "richly alive".
SONGS OF STEELYARD SUE (Lapwing Publications 2012 - ISBN: 9781909252028)
An SF-themed poetry sequence, ‘Songs of Steelyard Sue’ narrates the life and times of a future-world everyman, or, more accurately, every robot, the titular Steelyard Sue, living out her existence on an Earth turned rubbish heap.
"Lays of raw creation
Tales of bright decay."
Like life, the poems are a mixture of the funny and the sad, the raucous and contemplative, light and dark. Readers of Mslexia will already be familiar with one of the poems, "Steelyard Sue Plants a Garden", but there are many others to intrigue, entertain and maybe make you pause to think.
“surreal and funny poems” said ‘somesuchlike blog’.
‘Songs of Steelyard Sue’ is available to buy from selected bookstores, the poet’s website http://www.jswatts.co.uk/ , Lapwing Publications and Amazon.
A DARKER MOON
I started writing poems more frequently and became an active member of Luton Poetry Society in 2013. I enjoy writing and performing poetry which almost invariably rhymes, has a matching number of syllables and sometimes even has, in parts, a tolerable meter. I often try to make my poems entertaining and my favourite poet is John Betjeman. I think there are a number of important connections between mathematics and poetry and have even performed a poem at a Luton Poetry Society meeting describing some of them. Work on a poetry collection is under way.
I can be reached on my twitter account @DrFMCD.
BOOK: THE ALIEN THAT CAME TO DINNER (2015)
ELIZABETH HARUNA - POET
THERAPY (2003) - A poetry anthology, named so because of the outlet that poetry brings to the soul.
MAMA TELLA (2008) – A compilation which includes a short collection of poems relating to stories, childhood and love, with reviews by Benjamin Zephaniah and Russel Thompson -Apples & Snakes, foremost performance poetry agency. Elizabeth's books can be purchased online at www.dreampoetryworks.com/books_and_anthologies.html Also available at WH Smiths, Waterstones and Amazon.
ALAN RAINER – POET
Alan Rainer was born in Zimbabwe, schooled at Springvale and Peterhouse. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant, and worked with Coopers and Lybrand in France and Holland. He passed an MA in Religious Studies at the Institute of Education. He is concluding a Doctorate at Derby University in Religious Care; a study of four Faith communities and how they live out their Scriptures.
AWARE OF HOLINESS (2006): Collection of poems that reflect silent meditations on spirituality; available on LULU.com.
IN SEARCH OF THE DIVINE (2007): Collection of poems that centre on the search for God in daily life. This book was launched at Westminster Abbey, Poets Corner on his birthday 11th July 2007.
MY SOUL DELIGHTS (2008): Collection of deeply spiritual poems that enable the reader to discover inner peace and joy.
ROYAL LUMINOSITY (2011): A collection of poems co-published with poet Mary Emeji, for Prince William and Princess Catherine. A special copy was sent for the royal wedding on 29th April 2011.
To purchase Alan's books, please contact him via email email@example.com
ISABEL CASEY - POET / SCRIPT WRITER
Isabel Casey graduated from the University of Sussex in 2002 with a degree in English and Media. She went on to complete an MA in Scriptwriting at Goldsmiths Film School in 2006, where she won the prestigious Olive Till Award and aided by the Head of the British Film Council, Stewart Till, completed her first script, “THE FIELD OF WHEAT”. This South London gangster story followed a reformed assassin as he fell for the wife of his brother’s killer and is driven back to extreme violence. Soon afterwards Isabel was commissioned by British producer Ray Burdis, for a remake of the hugely popular Breakfast Club, to be retitled, “THE FULL ENGLISH”, and collaborated with leading British film actor Ashley Walters.
For the next two years, and still in treatment process, Isabel wrote the complex and twisted, “JOHNNY MEET JOE”, a terrifying allegorical sci-fi about a genetically modified man in search of his own dark double, only to discover it is himself he is looking for. After taking time out of writing to carve a career in property development, Isabel has now returned to her first love of writing.
She is currently working on “LOVE LAWS”, a trans-Atlantic rom-com, about a broke aristocratic Lord who tries to reverse his fortunes by transforming his sweet dappy daughter into an all-American babe on a crass U.S dating show.
Isabel also writes poetry; some of which are included in her scripts. Her passion for poetry is becoming more intense, as she is currently working on her very first book of poems!
Tonny Sammy is a young devoted Christian, who attends St.Vincent Roman Catholic Primary School, Luton. His hobbies include writing poems, football, basketball, swimming and golf. Tonny trains for football at Brazilian Soccer Schools. He has so far achieved four Basketball trophies and one Football medal. Tonny's love for poetry has led him to write more and more poems, and he's aiming to publish his first book of poems this year! This young poet is not limited by his age, as he says in the following excerpt from his poem 'Age, age,age' -
"I am not very, very old
So you might find me searching for gold,
But my age will eventually pass
Then you will find me cutting grass."
"I was born in Luton and have lived here all my life. I went to Sacred Heart Junior School and Ashcroft Senior School where my love of poetry started. In my late teens I wrote several poems whilst spending many spells in hospital – the words seem to come naturally during the peaceful times and the more difficult times. I did not write for many years and have only just started writing again over the last year or two. I feel that you can never force a poem. The words have to come naturally and hopefully when you have a pen to write them down or something to record them onto. As I often write my poems to be read out loud, sometimes writing them down is not that straight forward. My favourite poets are John Betjeman, William Wordsworth, John Longfellow and many of the other classic poets. I have had one poem published in an anthology by Anchor Books but as yet have not had any published. It is possible that one day I would like to make a recording of my poems rather than publishing them in a book but have yet to look into how to go about this. If I did a recording then it could be available for those who do not have access to written material as well as those who delight in listening to audio versions of poetry.
I work for NHS as a Health Trainer enabling people to improve their lifestyles and have a strong faith in the Roman Catholic Church regularly attending St Josephs and Our Lady Help of Christian Churches. In my spare time I am a folk dancer and a member of Toastmasters public speaking group."
NEIL ROWLAND - POET/ AUTHOR
Neil is a librarian at Luton Central Library, and an active member of Luton Poetry Society. He has always had a keen interest in poetry, and having been inspired by poetry events at LPS, he has begun writing his own poems. Neil is aiming at producing a poetry collection as time goes by.
'UNDERGROUND RIVERS' (2012)
'THE CITY DEALER' (2013)
'NOAH'S HEART' 2014.
Neil's profound and inspirational Christmas poem (dedicated to Mary) is published on our Poems Page.
SAMANTHA NEWBURY - POET/ ARTIST
Samantha Newbury is a life-long Lutonian and has been writing poetry off and on for nearly forty years. It keeps her sane and allows her to comment on everything from world events to the slightly sinister nature of cold fish fingers. Favourite writing venues include long distance train journeys, quiet corners in pubs and hospital waiting rooms. She is also a keen craftswoman, photographer and artist, and is currently learning to weave.
Her work has been shortlisted/placed in a number of competitions including The Plough Prize and has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Her first poetry collection 'FINDING MY TAIL' was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in June 2013. Her website is http://www.smanf.com/
SYLVIA JEFFERS - POET
Autobiography: I am a 40+ . I have always found that the Inner voice of poetry allows me to speak at various points in my life, challenging and happy. I would like an opportunity to share my poetry as it paths various aspects of my life.
JAMES HENRY - POET
James Henry was born in the English Bard's home county of Warwickshire. Training as a teacher followed in Liverpool. Since graduation, James has worked in the Home Counties area, principally as a teacher of pupils with special educational needs, and also as a driver, bookseller, adult education tutor, supply teacher and temporary local authority officer.
James' literary output includes: a chapter in a special education textbook; research for a chapter in a special education management textbook; in contributions to the Times Educational Supplement; a poem to be published in the 'Black Bright' magazine; published letters to the local papers, including support of 'Save Luton Libraries' campaign; and a collection of poems and articles in 'The Collected Works of James Henry - Volume 1'.
James' output in draft includes: a thriller; a future fantasy/science fiction adventure; and a history of music in Luton. His leisure activities include reading, collecting second hand books, listening to music (radio, vinyl and CD only) and walking.
PAUL ROGERS - POET
I specialise in sculptures made from natural products such as wood, fungus, bark and seed heads. My works range from 10cm. to 2.5 M in height and can be said to be “conceptual”. My art reflects the issues of everyday life, the questions, the concerns, the trials and the joys. I usually support each piece with a self-written poem which helps the viewer to further understand the thoughts and concepts behind the piece. All these works are free standing and 3D in nature. Much of my work is made for outside spaces and is therefore finished with varnishes which prolong the life and enhance the finish of those pieces. They are quite robust, yet in contrast I also use seed heads, dried petals and a range of dried flora to tell stories.
I source products from fallen, rotting timber and plants which, out of their growing season are dormant and fall away as new growth is produced. Sculpting paint on glass using discarded, unwanted products also provides me with an additional outlet for my creativity. A range of paint types are used, emulsions, acrylics and also inks enabling different textures which compliment each other.
I am a chef, lecturer and trainer by occupation, allowing me opportunities to develop my art “on the plate”; now semi-retired I find these opportunities in the forms above.
I have many other pieces that can be privately viewed in my home and garden in Aley Green near Caddington. To make an appointment, please call on 01582 967119.
MYRNA LOY - POET
Myrna Loy was born in South Kensington in 1952, raised in Cricklewood, and educated at John Kelly School in Neasden. She worked as a Legal Secretary in Kilburn and Harlesden before emigrating to the United States for 11 years during which, she went on a peacekeeping mission in Angola for one year. When Myrna returned to the UK in November 2000, she decided to live in Luton to be beside her children.
Myrna is the publisher and author of Poetry’s Promise (2011), Poetry’s Teacher (2010) One volume shares her personal experiences while the other shares her life experiences. The Other Side of Tourism is a travelogue written in 2006, about her time in Jamaica as a British national trying to aspire to her Jamaican roots. This novelette was endorsed by Lord Ouseley (House of Lords) and Dianne Abbot (House of Commons) and Patricia Lashley (Momentum Arts, Cambridge) wrote an extensive review on the book.
Myrna called ‘the creative cauldron’ is a visual artist, specialising in surrealism, and also publishes a quarterly magazine called Blackbright News, complimentary electronic versions are available on request via firstname.lastname@example.org. Black-Bright News is self-financed and assisted with the help of volunteers from the local university. Blackbright News challenges the negative stereotype and is geared towards changing perceptions, while using tactical and user-friendly strategies to raise the self-esteem
UK, America, Jamaica and Africa’s life lessons have prepared Myrna for where she is today, honing in on every aspect she has learned by being a Project Manager, a UN diplomat, an HR Officer in Angola, Logistics & Procurement officer, secretary, filing clerk, a writer, a poet and a painter to create, produce, market and publish and re-establish herself in the realm of the visual and literary arts.
Myrna Loy (aka Lady Loy) past-time on a Sunday is as a radio DJ/Presenter on Jamrock Radio and has been doing this for three years. Myrna is also the Founder and facilitator of a Relationship Forum on the 1st Saturday of every month called Talkin’ Blues.
“Poetry’s Promise” (2011)
“Poetry’s teacher” (2010)
“Black Men don’t make us afraid” The Voice (Poetry Corner)
“I am not a daughter of Zion” The Voice (Poetry Corner)
“I am a Black Woman” The Voice (Poetry Corner)
“The Book” The Voice (Poetry Corner)
“Black Raven” Caribbean Times (Your Poetry) 1988
“Mother *******”” Black I Am (Anthology of Black British Poets 1987)
Award Winning Literature/ Poetry:
“Know the Past, Understand the Present and Determine the Future” ACER Black Writers Awards, 1987
Bridport Prize for “Baby Farda” National Creative Writing Competition (came 2nd), Bridport, Dorset (9/1986)
“What the Media did not say” ACER Award 1986
“Sorry the Post has been Filled” ACER AWARD 1986
“Tribute to my Mother” ACER Awards 1985
PATRICIA J. MORRIS - POET
Patricia J Morris was born in London. Her love of the written word began early when she wrote a Christmas Carol for her school choir at the age of 12. Since then she has gone on to write poetry, plays and songs. She says, "To me writing is a bit like breathing, it's something I have always done, and something I cannot live without."
She is currently working as an English teacher, where she is passing on her love of the English language to the next generation.
CHRIS GEORGIOU - POET
Chris Georgiou is of Greek/Irish parentage. He came to Britain from Australia long ago -
for a year - and stayed on, returning there at intervals. He travelled
extensively during his working life in all manner of aircrafts, and made documentary type films on engineering subject. However, he is now retired and write poetry and short stories, for the pleasure of doing so. His first book of poems titled 'AMBIGUITIES' was published in Australia.
ANGELA WILKINSON - POET
I was born in Malaysia of Barbardian parents, my Father was an Air Craft Engineer in the RAF my Mum and Dad stayed in Malaysia for 2 years - so consequently I was 2 years olf when I came to the UK.
I went to various RAF Schools in the RAF from the age of 5 years old, the last place being Derwent in Henlow Camp, Bedfordshire. At the of 11 years old I took my 11+ and passed, but my parents left the forces and I could not to to Grammer School.
We came to Luton and I continued my studies at Halyard High School. I stayed there 5 years and obtained my CSE's at the time. I then went on to Barnfield College where I took my 5 O'Levels and a Private Secretary's Qualification that lasted 3 years.
I then worked for the Ministry of Defence as a Private Medical Secretary to 6 Surgeons then promoted to work for an Assistant Under Secretary and 2 Principals. I enjoyed the job immensely.
I then went to Barbados for 1 year, working for various companies I came back and studied at University Certificate in Management Studies and 2 Years of Law, Psychology and Sociology Degree.
As regards my Poetry and Songwriting - I have 2 Poems published in Anthologies and 2 songs in CD and Cassette form.
I have an interest in Poetry and would commend Mary for setting up the Group.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564 - 1616)
William Shakespeare is an invisible Member of Luton Poetry Society, and we usually start off our meetings with one or two Shakespearean Sonnets! William Shakespeare is as yet the greatest Poet that ever lived, for every student of Literature is bound to encounter Shakespeare at some point. This poetry legend is indeed a great inspiration to Luton Poetry Society and to several poets from all ages (so much that Mary Emeji has co-written a book with him titled 'TIMELESS DATE').
His Biography and Sonnets are available at http://william-shakespeare.info/