I studied ‘Human Sciences’ at Oxford University, then began to learn about healing. Now I live in a converted chapel in northern Cumbria and set up live poetry events through ‘Eden 4 Poetry’, often fundraising for human welfare charities such as ‘Practical Action’ and ‘Forward UK’. Sometimes I organise deep relaxation/visualisation workshops, followed by creative arts (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am published in anthologies such as ‘The Poet’s Quest For God’ (Eyewear Publishing, 2016) and my first full poetry collection is ‘A Whole Day Through From Waking’ (Cinnamon Press, 2016). www.cinnamonpress.com. I am currently working on three new books; ‘In the Holding’, (poetry), ‘How to be a Survivor’ (on just that), and ‘Is Love Enough?’ which looks at modern Christian thinking and tries to find simple, positive ideas of what God is, and is not.
Why do I want to be an editor and help put this anthology together? A hero of mine, Bob Marley, sang ‘overcome the devils with a thing named love…’ I believe the devil does not even exist! Only love.
We hear of atrocities being committed against the human rights of people ‘other’ than the ‘us’ category – and it is easy to condemn this as evil. We see cold eyes and wonder if they are the opposite of all that is loving. But I wonder, does love even have an opposite? Or is this only an absence? In the current scary predicament of our world is our problem not the presence of hate but the widespread absence of love? And I am not being soft here – loving, as we all know, is often not easy!
Hard as it is, I try to ask, do we need to love our foe, whoever he or she is, and also admit that the horrors being committed against human rights only epitomise what our worldwide win/lose culture has created – fed from within each of us, every time we gain security from another’s exclusion? Or profit from another’s loss. The talk of building ‘walls’ right now could be seen as the trophy of a common foul game we are all somehow involved in, and all need to make crumble. Can we only drop these walls completely to the ground when we answer the fear from within every one of us, and fill this lack of love? Fill ourselves, our brothers and sisters, our ‘us’ and ‘them’, with a strong inclusive love that unites us as one human race: fill our world with love – the only power in this paradoxical universe which has no opposing force; no battlefield; no boundaries.
That’s my take on why I want this anthology to happen! I really want it to be full of poems which honour that love; that inclusiveness for all, which can and does make it truly great to be a human.