The Tumblr blog Mal’s Web Party interviewed me a couple of months back. You can follow his blog at http://malswebparty.tumblr.com and find his original post at http://malswebparty.tumblr.com/post/174088995507/interview-with-martin-grey.
Thanks to Mal for taking the time to chat with me.
Martin (formerly known as towelintherain) is becoming increasingly well known in his adopted city of Nottingham. He is also a founder member of From the Word Go, but this interview concentrates on his solo activity as a poet. There’s more information on www.facebook.com/martingreypoet
Mal: Please tell us about when you started writing poetry.
Martin: I’ve written poetry since I was a teenager, mostly dreadful angsty stuff in the early years. I’d written a lot when I was a kid, mostly little stories, but I had an appalling English teacher who destroyed my willingness to write. I guess those early poems were my inate love of writing sticking its head above the parapit again and, even though I’d never show them to anyone, I’m very glad they exist.
Mal: What was behind your move from Guildford in Surrey to Nottingham?
Martin: Most people want to flee the nest for a while when they grow up and I was no different. Also I was very into rock music at the time and Nottingham had a really good rock scene, Rock City etc. To be honest, it was pretty impulsive and, although I really wanted to go to uni, the uni course was more of a secondary thought. It just seemed like a good idea, so I went for it.
Mal: How and when did you bridge the gap between writing poetry and performing to a live audience?
Martin: Good question: I’d wanted to for a while, but I’d never really had the confidence in my own work or seen any good opportunities to do it. Then I was writing in a cafe one day, I think in late 2012, and I saw the diypoets free magazine in the flyers and pamphlets section of the cafe. There was a submissions e-mail on the back and, to my surprise, the poem I submitted made the next magazine. From there, I joined the group and a few months later took the plunge at one of their events. It was a terrifying but great experience.
Mal: I’m told you have a book due for publication soon.
Martin: Yes, that’s the plan. I’m hoping it will be out this summer. It’s a very people focussed book. All the poems are about people, some real, some not, with a lot of sub themes like peace, tolerance, hope and anti austerity thrown in. It’ll be the very best book I can make and I hope that people will get something from it.
Mal: And finally, when are you hoping to publish the novel “Too Late for a Daydream”? The early chapters look really promising and I do want to know what happens next.
Martin: I’d love to finish it, but I’ve absolutely no idea. I appreciate your praise about the early chapters though. I can tell you definitely that either my second or third book will be my first novel because, when I was a kid, I wanted to be an author and it would be great to be a novelist as well as a poet, although the finished book might be completely different; I’ve no idea!
Mal: Many thanks for speaking to us.