It cannot be true that I learnt to read on my first day at kindergarten; but thatâ€™s what is mischievously stored in my memory. What is true, however, is that I learnt quickly, fell in love with the written word, and started writing my own poems and stories very early.
My fourteen published books include fiction, non-fiction, my own poetry collections and anthologies that Iâ€™ve edited. A list can be found on my website: www.marriages.me.uk/alwyn.htm. Most of these were commissioned, generally following on from a public lecture Iâ€™d given or an article Iâ€™d written.
I edited a journal, and was a university lecturer in philosophy for seventeen years, before being head-hunted to be Director of two international literacy and literature NGOs â€” which involved extensive travel, during which I came to know most of the slums of the world and became an expert on banishing cockroaches from bedrooms. When Iâ€™d had enough of that I undertook an MSc in Environmental Architecture and Advanced Energy Studies, because I thought it was time I started to come to grips with science.
My poetry is widely published in magazines and anthologies and online. I have won and been placed in a number of competitions and have given poetry readings all over Britain and abroad. Iâ€™ve also held Poet in Residence posts with Ballet Rambert and with the Winchester Arts Festival, judged poetry and short story competitions and been awarded an international Rockefeller scholarship.
I am now Managing Editor of Oversteps Books and research fellow at Surrey University.
Alwyn Marriage in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?1952
What do you love about short stories?
Do you write in other forms?Poetry, non-fiction and more recently novels.
What distracts you from writing?
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?
What is your favourite book?
Who are your favourite writers?, and
Where is your dream location?
What one item would you put into Room 101?
Do you have any advice for new writers?Read, read, read and enjoy.
Work by Alwyn Marriage:
What the story of St Clare doesn't tell... In this poem, Alwyn Marriage suggests that St Clare (1194-1253) may be a rather more interesting figure than history suggests. Clare Offreduccio (Chiara) was a normal, healthy and enthusiastic teenager until she was swept off her feet by the dashing young Francis, whom she heard preach with passion. Abandoning her previous life to follow him, she devoted herself to a life of chastity and charity. Images of St Clare in art tend to depict her as an icon of humble obedience and purity, but there may well be more to the story than that. While not wishing to diminish Clare's genuine piety and good works at all, this story suggests that Clare's obvious love of St Francis was more full-blooded and passionate than the official stories have suggested, and that ending up in a convent was not quite what Clare had in mind. (Please note: This is a poem, rather than a story)
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