Featured poet

Gary Huskisson

I Gary Huskisson is a son, a father, a Christian, a friend, a brother. I have been a dancer, a social worker, a youth worker, an athletic coach, a teacher, an engineer, a DJ, a radio presenter, an athlete, a drama-therapist and a lover. I am now a short bald Christian lover of Chelsea FC who likes to wax the lyrical with words that unleash the power within in me to help others and be a catalyst to my own enrichment.

I studied Story-telling in Therapy and Education at the University of Hertfordshire. I arrived at the University in St Albans, while as a community youth worker and a volunteer worker for the homeless. At the time all prospective youth workers did some form of counselling as a methodology to engage young people in purposeful discussion, but I felt this didnít use my skills fully. I initially discovered dramatherapy as an art therapy as way to make inroads into the cyclic nature of anti-social behaviour and as a medium to help young people address sensitive issues. From here I discovered other art therapies, such as music therapy - but it was story-telling where I found my niche.

I was fortunate to have had as a tutor Alida Gersie, who taught me the power and beauty of telling and making stories. Stories of creation, learning and therapy exist throughout all literature text including bibles, fables, historical recollection etc. Grimms fairytales such as Hansel and Gretal and Red Riding Hood in their original format were used to teach children to stay safe. Three Little Pigs has been used to reference Freuds psychoanalytic theories of Id, Ego and SuperEgo.

I have used many different stories for therapy and education purposes such as Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows to work with 'joyriders'. I have also helped individuals of all ages to create their own stories to address their own concerns. I have undertaken group and story-telling workshops in over 60 schools in Peterborough; also in prisons, libraries and many other community settings.

My success as a story-teller led me to study group therapy with Dr Kedar Nath Dwivedi at St Andrew's Hospital in Northampton. I attended the Midland Group Work for Adolescents at Northampton Family Consultation Service, and this gave me an insight into the psychodynamic working of group work. Since completing the course, informal and formal group work has been a prominent part of my work in varied settings. I have returned to Northampton as a facilitator for this course, to provide story-telling workshops.

I first performed as a spoken word artist in celebration of Black History month in 2007, where I performed two of my own poems about growing up in Peterborough as the black child in the school, followed by Benjamin Zephaniahs White Comedy. I also did one of his favourite poems by Adrian Mitchell:

Most people ignore most poetry
Because most poetry ignores most people.

Other poets to influence me are John Agard, Linton Kwest Johnson, Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Patience Agabi and Tupac Shakur and Langston Hughes. The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes fused together my love for jazz and poetry. Whereas Rapunzel by Patience Agabi encouraged me to develop poems using the same story constituents I was already using.

My love for poetry developed from this, especially after reading the Psalms and Proverbs from the Bible as I returned to the church. Proverbs 18:21...

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it (for death or life)

Following this my poems follow the same format whether they are designed to tell, or be a story to be performed, on an open mic nights. I worked for numerous of years as Radio and Club DJ, which has help develop my performance skills. These skills have their foundation in story making.

In recent times my poetry has been influenced by the poem On the pulse of morning by Maya Angelou, as it protests that everyone can develop as a person for the better and that, working with nature (rock, river and tree), learning from the past, and despite differences, great things can be accomplished together. This provides the foundation for my love for spoken word poetry. I believe I am still mastering my craft, which makes the journey even more enjoyable. I like the fact that I can write and then perform a verse, where I can dramatise a written piece with the aim of transforming the reader or listener to a place of their choosing, evoking an emotion that is long lasting.

I tell and write poems to be cathartic, to heal, to be farcical and to be radical. I am presently completing my first book How to survive a Sheartk attack, which is the story of my year in verse, including depression and a heart attack. Some of my poems in the book are dark and emotional, where others are intended to cause a smile or shed a tear.

Who Dares Wins - it's a Covert Operation

This poem is from my upcoming book, from the chapter Being a depressed Christian. It describes how I tried to get into church sermons without being noticed.

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Sheartk Attack

This is the opening poem from my book, which compares my depression and heart attack to drowning after a Shark attack.

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Blood on Leaves

This is from my collection of race poems inspired by Billie Holiday and Kanye West, referencing the Klu Klux Klan.

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Sax Appeal

'Sax Appeal' adheres to my love of Jazz, and is taken from my collection of music poems.

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Love Gain

'Love Gain', 'Love Lost' and 'Love Tunnel' are a trilogy of love poems in celebration of T S Elliot. Originally, it was a group of four - but the final one broke my heart.

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Love Lost

The second in my trilogy of love poems celebrating T S Elliot.

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Love Tunnel

The third in my trilogy of love poems celebrating T S Elliot.

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Cover Blown


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Poem 101


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Books are Trending

I dedicate this poem to my friend Emily

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The Lord of the Manor


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