My Inspiration: H.K.G. Lowery | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North-East poet H.K.G. Lowery releases his new book, Being and Becoming, a collection of works that features various intimate reflections on life as a fledgling artist in twenty-first century Britain and that invites us to experience the political and social decay that he observes running through our culture.

Here the H.K.G. Lowery tells us about the inspiration behind this book…

Being and Becoming is my second collection of Poetry. Before you read the following perusal of my poetical work, I would actually recommend you read Being and Becoming first: not as a cheap sales technique, but rather because I would not want my own commentary of my work to bias its effect on you. I have always aligned myself with the belief that once a piece of art has been created, it no longer belongs to the artist but to the observer. Therefore, if you are interested in my work, you should have a totally non-bias experience of reading it where returning to this commentary would provide you with thoughts and ideas regarding the book that I hope would be of interest to you: perhaps in reading my book, you will discover the dots and this brief commentary will join them together, if you will. 

Poetry is personal; this medium of literature can likewise be political and experimental, and these literary traits define exactly the atmosphere of my second work. This collection of Poetry is very personal to me: it was composed during and following a difficult stage of my life (I will let the Poetry itself explain this as opposed to me formally in a magazine, considering an artist can be suggestive through art, but not necessarily factual, as art is merely the observer’s interpretation; but that is another discussion for another time). I suppose inspiration intrinsically becomes a very abstract word to analyse and handle in the realm of art. Any Poet, or other artist, may tell you to never wait for inspiration, and, to some extent, this is true. However, I certainly believe that our experiences of life, whether they generate very positive emotions or very negative emotions, will inspire us the most artistically. Most, if not all, of the poems from my second collection are inspired directly or indirectly from very personal experiences that I define as hurtful but equally pivotal and important – these experiences all lead to what I believe is a very cathartic conclusion to the collection. In my Preface, I mention John Clare, a Romantic Poet, who famously said: ‘I found the poems in the fields, / And only wrote them down’. Clare suggests that Poetry is all around us, and it is through the Poet’s humility that he postulates that artists ‘translate’, if you will, the Poetry of life and existence into the Poetry we can physically read. I would therefore say, in the least cliché way, that life itself and the experiences of my own particular conscious existence formed the basis of my inspiration for this work. 

As it may be evident to you when reading my work, many of the poems from my second collection are the first poems I composed – I am therefore aware of my dearth of experience composing. I am also aware that I am actively participating in the same medium as Shakespeare or Shelley, but the mere opportunity to write and share my own Poetry not only means a lot to me personally, but hopefully to you, the reader. This is because although a Poet predominantly composes for themselves, the work, as aforementioned, becomes that of the reader’s. My only real hope from my work is that through a philanthropic lens, my Poetry transfers powerful energies, such as happiness, consolation, and humour, among occasioning philosophical relief and intellectual stimulation. This becomes another foundation for my inspiration of my new work: I want to show people, through Poetry, that you can be situated in a very dark place but you can rise and see the wonderment of existence. Therefore, you may notice and appreciate that the themes of apocalypse and paradise function symbiotically and consistently throughout the poetic narrative. 

Finally, another kind of inspiration that formed the composition of this work is culture (which, I believe, has a direct relationship to the words of Clare). Poetry for many, many years has belonged to the aristocracy; only in the last few decades has Poetry become more accessible to a variety of readers and to a variety of writers, and this is simply excellent – all of my current favourite writers are not heterosexual, white, aristocratic men. This thought then bleeds into my own personal search for my own poetic identity. The very intentional title of this work, for me, is suggestive of a Poetry concerned with the philosophical issues of phenomenology and existence, perhaps reminiscent of Charles Bukowski. My undergraduate degree introduced me to a wealth of new and contemporary writers that led me to the realisation that anyone can write Poetry. Therefore, as someone from the working-class town of Gateshead, which I believe is not widely represented in and through art, I soon arrived at the conclusion that I could be a Poet. I then became pensive with the Romantic philosophy of Clare and a new and consequent lens to see life through was installed in me whereby I could see Gateshead and Newcastle like never before, and these truly incredible places form a measureless amount of inspiration for my Poetry, now and always. 

So, I would like to invite you to read my latest work to support the local art scene (which I’m sure you already do if you hold this magazine in your hands); your support means more than you could ever imagine to me. My sincere thanks to you. 

Being and Becoming by H.K.G. Lowery will be available mid to late July (TBC) via Amazon

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