Focus: Tobias Hodgson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Tobias Hodgson and I’m from Sunderland.

What is it you do?
I’m a writer. I’ve been creative in one way or another my whole life but I’ve always liked the idea of being a poet. It’s the most immediate art form really, isn’t it? Music has to be recorded, mixed and mastered before it can go out, paintings can take years to complete etc., whereas a poem can go from an initial thought to completion in a matter of minutes just with a pen and paper. I think that’s what’s appealing; anybody can do it so that’s why I am.

How long have you been doing it?
I regularly wrote bits and pieces throughout secondary school and sixth form, but I feel like I’ve really found my feet in the last year in terms of figuring out what kind of writer I am. Hence, I’m ready to publish my first collection.

What inspires you?
Television, mostly. The Royle Family, The League of Gentlemen, The Office – all the British classics inspire me to some extent. More recently though; Landscapers came out in 2021, directed by Will Sharpe who I really admire, and that series probably exemplifies the style and feel I aim to give my poems. So if you enjoy watching shows like that which are experimental, strange and darkly comedic then you’ll probably like reading my poems.

Tell us about your work.
I think ‘off-beat’ sums up my style of writing pretty well. I find it very easy to take simple, everyday occurrences to their darkest or weirdest degree in my imagination. I think I do it all the time, subconsciously. I’m never short of something to write about in that respect.

It’s small-scale. I don’t take myself too seriously in the poems and I’m definitely not trying to change the world with them or anything grand like that. I think quite a lot of contemporary poetry is overly and purposefully pretentious. There’s not much of it that I read and can laugh at, or see that the writer is trying to do something different so I’m filling that gap in the poetry scene as best as I can.

What have you got coming up in the future?
My debut collection, Fantasies, is coming out on the 13th of September. It mainly comprises poems I wrote in June and July of this year that concentrate on the ever-awkward social and romantic fumblings of adolescence and young adulthood. 

Beyond that, what will be my follow-up book is already in its preliminary phases, so to speak, and will most likely be ready for release in early 2024. 

Where can people find out more about you?
My Instagram is @tobiashodgson, that’s probably the best place to keep up to date. I’ve posted a few of the poems from ‘Fantasies’ on there too, so give me a follow if you want some sneak peeks of the book, as well as updates on my future work…


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