- THIS PROJECT
After leaving AFTRS at the end of 2007, where I’d worked as a teacher of screenwriting for seven years, I found myself once again writing the occasional poem. Most were never submitted for publication. They languished on my desk or lost themselves in drawers ‘mongst pieces of stone and discarded oddments of deceit. After a while they sought me out and I realised that they were turning into quite a pile, and that within that pile there were quite a few I actually liked. When I shared some of these with my friend and co-conspirator, Maya Newell (and she liked them, too), I started to think maybe – just maybe – it might be worthwhile publishing them in one, big volume. Hence, MAYA & THE REAL STUFF – a title that goes to the heart of the book’s subject – that apparent schism between fantasy and reality, which encourages, torments, provokes and surprises us constantly in our relationships with one another and with the world.
The book consists mostly of new poems, written since 2007, as well as a selection of previously uncollected items, including some of the most memorable and dramatic performance poems that some of you will remember hearing me read and perform in the 1980s and 1990s. Those who enjoy my posts on Facebook and other social media sites will find this book to be great company, and something that you can keep coming back to again and again. It also includes a selection of illustrations by my 10-year-old grandson, Ishmael Stoneking, which are ‘poems’ in their own right.