12th Feb 14
and in the shop…
“the lovelife of the absent-minded”,
Bruce Barnes was born in 1948, a Cockney, at a maternity hospital in the sound of Bow Bells, but subsequently emigrated to Bradford, Up North. In between times he was educated at Leeds and Liverpool Polytechnic, Keele University, and Birkbeck College. He has worked as a smallholder, a law lecturer, a legal advice worker, and in a mental health advocacy project. He’s retired now but somehow has found time, (it was behind the sofa), to study for the Writing MA at Sheffield Hallam.
Whilst in London, he was joint co-ordinator of Islington Poetry Workshop and a member of the Blue Nose Poetry Collective.
In Bradford, he is a member of Beehive Poets, a poetry events and work-shopping group in the wild expectation that there is an audience in the City (see Beehive Poets). He is also a member of the Lapidus regional group, and facilitates a writing group at a seniors’ luncheon club.
His poems have appeared in many magazines including Poetry Wales, the Bound Spiral, Poetry London Newsletter, Fat Chance, Lapidus Journal, Krax, Pennine Platform, Island, Manifold, Brittle Star, Nutshell, Ink, Yorkshire Journal and Antiphon.
In anthologies such as Beyond Bedlam, Spirit of Bradford, In the Company of Poets – the Torriano Anthology 2003 celebrating 21 years of readings, and in Four Ways; Phoenix Press, Newbury, Berks 1985; (a four poets anthology including, Sue Stewart, Louise Hudson and Bart Keegan), Versions of the North 2013 and Macmillan children’s anthologies: Join in … or else, The Works and Read Me Out Loud.
He frequently crops up in the runners-up lists of poetry competitions and in 2005 won the York Writers Poetry Competition and third place in the Plough Poetry Prize, and in 2008 was winner of the Torriano Open Competition.
In 2000 he won a Yorkshire Arts Writers Award. He has read and performed his poetry throughout Britain, and in Canada and the States.
He has published two collections of poetry:
the lovelife of the absent-minded (Newbury: Phoenix Press 1993)
Bruce Barnes’ poems are unlike any others I know. They move with a quiet, thrilling surrealism, yet never lose touch with the rag and bone shop of the heart
Somewhere Else (Bradford: Utistugu Press 2003)
Bruce Barnes’ second collection resonates with a truly original voice or rather he displays, especially in the ‘monologues’, a gift for personae