I’m very pleased to have a poem in the latest issue of The Honest Ulsterman, the journal founded by James Simmons in 1968. The first time I ever read poems in public was at an event organised by the University of Ulster at Coleraine’s then Writer-in-Residence, Martin Lynch, in the Anchor in Portstewart: Simmons was the headline poet. My memory is hazy as to what he read, but I remember the power of his voice. He was also a very talented singer and musician, as this piece, his setting of his poem ‘Claudy’ about the bombings there in July 1972, shows. Simmons lectured in English and Drama at UUC from its inception in 1968 until 1984, the year before I started there.
My poem – about my stay in Berlin, with my university friend and housemate Caroline and her sister Sharon from Claudy in 1987 – is here.