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David Cooke

Updated: Sat, 6 Sep 2014 01:08 pm

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Biography

I was born in 1953. I was a Gregory Award winner in 1977 and my collection, BRUEGHEL’S DANCERS was published by Free Man's Press in 1984. For twenty years I stopped writing, since when WORK HORSES, a collection of more recent work, was published by Ward Wood Publishing in 2012. My poems have appeared been appeared widely in the UK, Ireland and beyond in magazines such as Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, Cyphers, Envoi, The French Literary Review, The Frogmore Papers, The Irish Press, The Interpreter’s House,The London Magazine,THe Morning Star,New Walk, Orbis, Other Poetry,Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review The Reader, The SHOp,and Stand. My new collection, A MURMURATION, will be published in 2015 by Two Rivers Press.

Samples

YOUR CHAIR After half a lifetime of early starts, and a few fly years that made you money, you finally softened round the edges and eased back, prosperous, into your chair. It's there in our mother's place: a threadbare seat of judgment, battered in the mayhem of a clattery open house, its wrecked guts sagging, its two arm rests coming adrift. And fixed immovably in that still centre you watched the racing on TV, shushed out our conversations, as Michael O'Hare's gabble of names stampeded to its climax. Another windfall? Or a better prize – To know you were flush enough for losers not to matter, in a different country to have attained a gruff serenity. That chair has hoarded the words you uttered, and releasing them at times, as we make our late decisions, can fill up a room with some cagey, warm, and toil-inflected phrase. Your chair is true North on a map of memory, and points out paths, the sanctioned ways still worth your approbation, the cuteness implied in 'Whatever would your father have thought?' WORK HORSES The clanking compound of the brewery, where my Dad did shifts when work was slack on the buildings, is buried now beneath the panels of the multi-storey car park and chat that drifts across from the cappuccino pavement. Born to a scant inheritance of rushy Sligo acres, my dad was bred like his brothers to follow the work, sending remittances home from London, Reading, and Philadelphia – for worklessness would have been their defining shame. And somewhere in the hinterland of just remembered childhood I am watching a drayman as he guides heraldic horses through a time-thinned stream of traffic. Their sinews barely tensed, they go unfussed about their business.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Comments

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Fri 16th Jun 2017 02:18

A quick note to let you know I have mentioned your new book in a blog post, today.
https://francesmacaulayforde.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/after-hours/
Looking forward to a good read.

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David Cooke

Thu 15th Jun 2017 09:47

It's a small world - at least where poetry's concerned. David.

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Thu 15th Jun 2017 01:58

Hi Again David,
I established the first regular public reading event in 2005 after returning from Ireland and it ran each month until 2008. Yes, like many others, Jackson (relatively unknown in Perth) first read some of her words at my 'Poets Corner' monthly meetings at the State Library in Pages Cafe in 2008.
She is (these days) very involved in the poetry scene here in Perth, particularly the 'slam' events, I think.
I have retired after many years of serving on various writing committees including PCWC, WritingWA, FAWWA and having represented Poetry Australia as a poet in residence for 6 months at Burns Beach Cafe (my last gig). See my bio here: https://francesmacaulayforde.wordpress.com/about/
I shall order your book now and look forward to reading.
Best, Frances.

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Wed 14th Jun 2017 08:47

G'day David,
Thanks for keeping me informed.
I've now contacted your publisher and asked how I can order a book to be sent to Perth, Western Australia.
Best,
Frances.

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Wed 15th Feb 2017 00:15

Hi David,
Are you making a list of those interested in your book? Please add my name. As soon as you have more details about where I can purchase a copy, please let me know. May your muse always amuse.
Frances.

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Tue 31st Jan 2017 04:19

Hi again David, just wanted to let you know I did as you said and checked out 'The High Window'. Congratulations , I enjoyed it and will check it often. I also mentioned the press in my Wordpress blog posting: https://francesmacaulayforde.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/wa-writers-festival/
Looking forward to reading more of you words.

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Thu 26th Jan 2017 02:26

Pleased to 'meet' you, David.
'Your Chair' reminded me of my own Irish father and his favourite chair - which I'd not thought about... has now inspired. I enjoyed the close-up look and the dialogue at the end - all bringing him to life.
'Work Horses' was a clever (again) reminder of my dear old dad who could never, even after the war be accused of being 'out of work'. Again, you have inspired me to write about his heroic Pathfinder service which at the time was vilified and which he never talked about... then after his holding 3 taxi/bus driving jobs at once to feed my brother and Mum.
So thank you... I am very pleased to have made your acquaintance.

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Paul Waring

Thu 29th Dec 2016 17:24

Hi David, thanks. After just a week on this site I am very taken by the quality of work by poets like yourself. I aim to read more of your work. Best wishes, especially for 2017. Paul

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raypool

Wed 28th Sep 2016 12:00

Many thanks David for your helpful info on The HighWindow Press. Very interesting, and I may feel inspired to take part, i'll give it some serious thought.

Ray

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raypool

Sun 25th Sep 2016 17:02

Hi David, I have checked your online journal and mighty fine it is. Is this something you run yourself and/or contribute to? I would be very interested in submitting a hopefully suitable piece myself if that is possible. I am trying to spread my work and need to make a concerted effort, with a possible result in having a pamphlet at least to my name. If you have any helpful suggestions I would be grateful. You know by now my style as such I'm sure.

Regards, Ray.

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raypool

Fri 23rd Sep 2016 10:19

HI David, I'm so glad I raised a bit of fodder for thought on the Penguin poem - I wondered about the italics! I think it is thought provoking as it is and quite a nice image as if breath is to be scooped up from a bowl. A Milliganesque conception perhaps. Penguins do conjure up an intriguing sight and that consolidates the idea I feel. Always a pleasure to read your stuff.

Ray

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 25th Feb 2016 16:59

And now, for me, 'Ode to Martial Music' is absolutely fabulous.

Excellence has nothing to do with 'fame'. I think you should be 'famous', on a wide scale, even globally. Maybe that's why artists had/have patrons, to do the marketing. Since selling is equally as or more important than artistic talent.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 15th Feb 2016 12:16

I have much to catch up with, but not today. Cheers. I hope Dubai was for pleasure.

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raypool

Sat 11th Jul 2015 21:36

HI David I have just read Your Chair and Work Horses and thoroughly enjoyed the easy and thought provoking style of both. Being a furniture restorer (also a musician) I appreciate the affection engendered by old pieces like chairs, particularly Windsors , slightly stern I know, and the line gruff serenity is perfect. A pleasure and sense of confidence comes through them! In Work Horses I love the juxtaposition of past tense and present "I am watching."

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Tommy Carroll

Sat 27th Sep 2014 15:18

Cheers Dave for your appreciation of my comment. ;)

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 8th Sep 2014 13:17

I have 'studied' the philosophers so named entirely on my own, and also have ploughed through various 'proofs of God' with great interest. I have many philosophy books on my shelf, chiefly garnered from university 're-cyle stalls' and general second-hand book shops. Never having been 'organized for regurgitation' in a test situation, I have mainly a 'feeling' of these ideas, but an overview which has greatly enriched my thinking.

I have 'The Age of Belief' (The Medieval Philosophers) by Anne Fremantle right at my elbow, and a 1936 volume called 'The Testament of Man', a collection of works from very Ancient Times in All Cultures, many early ones from rocks and reeds. It is the commonality that blows my mind.

It's really fab to even broach such a subject as this without encountering a pained expression from the other person - I'm assuming.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 6th Sep 2014 16:42

Re: Nothing - more like your ability to think, period. What does your Catholic upbringing have to do with it?

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vanessa

Mon 7th Jul 2014 21:23

Have gone through your work....i must say am impressd. It is just ...i like it: 'Your Chair' i love it

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Daniel Dwyran

Tue 24th Jun 2014 13:53

David, thank you very much for your very kind words. I sincerely appreciate the link and I will follow that up in the near future.
(I confess to being a 'technophobe' and need to embrace social media).
On a different matter relating to your musical tastes, if you are ever in the West Country check out 'The Old Duke', King Street in Bristol. I feel you would love it.

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Daniel Dwyran

Sun 22nd Jun 2014 22:18

Hi David
I have just spent a delightful half an hour going through your Blog and Poetry samples. I found Work Horses was all heart and a wonderful read. I found that your love of Jazz and the Blues came at you through every line in your poetic musical tributes.
It was 30 minutes very well spent... and one I will revisit. Most enjoyable.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 7th Apr 2014 12:16

David, I am so relishing these books of your poetry, especially since they are widely separated in age, experience and intent. It is a very personal look into yourself.

One thing was really funny. I was very taken with one poem and the apt description of 'rain ...... dissolving window'. I thought: "What an exceptional image - 'dissolving' is perfect." Then, a few days later, I read a different poem in the other book, and I recognized that this second poem was similar, sort of, to a previous one. Maybe just on a related theme. But then, the same 'dissolving window' jumped out and I laughed out loud. Of course, I had to scope the two books to find the other poem. It was insightful to compare the two, the younger and older man, years apart. But 'the dissolving window' wouldn't let go!

BTW, after the fact, I did notice your comment about re-doing some works for later publication. When is a poem ever finished!

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Greg Freeman

Wed 1st Jan 2014 20:42

Happy new year to you too, David. Not sure I'll get to the Ariadne launch, but will try to make the Screech Owl one, date depending. Very impressed with your Grimsby poems in Penniless Press today. Have you got any more of those up your sleeve?

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Mon 30th Dec 2013 13:20

Books arrived safely almost immediately. My computer wonked out just before sending you a message, and hasn't recouped until today (incorrect info from experts silenced my Christmas period - not a bad thing - and I was quite ill too, but better now. Better computer access - better me - what's not to like!) I will greatly enjoy your poems. Happy New Year!

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 15th Dec 2013 13:54

With great pleasure:

Cynthia Buell Thomas,
#3 Willow Tree Court,
Brooklands Rd., Sale'
Cheshire, UK
M33 3SE

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Greg Freeman

Mon 2nd Dec 2013 16:30

Yes, I had a poem about getting knackered while walking in the Peak District in the summer issue of Orbis, David. Not much else to report in that line just recently! Look forward to meeting up somewhere in the new year.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 25th Nov 2013 17:01

Hello there - thanks for taking the time to
comment on my poem about the murder of JFK.
I've added to my opinions with comments to be
found on Simon Austin's poetry blog "Kennedy".
Oliver Stone's film was a tour de force of movie
making and whilst he may have not been able to
fill in all the gaps, I follow his belief that
Oswald was hardly a lone nut. JFK made very powerful enemies for a variety of reasons.
P.S. I note in your "bio" above you mention
"In The Distance" with a date "20011"!!
Now THAT'S the sort of immortality any poet
would die for (sorry!! :-))>

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Starfish

Thu 14th Nov 2013 17:28

Thanks for the link – that poem has a reference to the Beatles also. My education continues. As for the expression "Bag of Cats", I liked it enough to write a 'poem' about it.

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Greg Freeman

Thu 29th Aug 2013 19:15

Yes, I thought I detected a flavour of MLK there. I was listening to a commemorative programme yesterday and suddenly heard the strains of Heatwave, which is in my all-time top 10, which probably has about 50 tunes in it!

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Tommy Carroll

Wed 24th Apr 2013 02:17

Mr Cooke- ''unfortunately the one I refer to isn't to be found anywhere so I couldn't post it.'' this is just not good enough. Tommy

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