Credit: by Alex Barr

Alex Barr









My name is Alex Barr. There are a lot of people with that name, including one or two writers, which can be confusing. I am the one who lives in Fishguard, is a full member of Academi, and writes poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, and plays, and whose wife Rosemarie is a ceramic artist and poet. Before moving to Fishguard we spent twenty years on a smallholding near Letterston, and before that lived in the literary suburb of Didsbury in Manchester. I retired from teaching architecture at Manchester Metropolitan University.

I’ll introduce my writing by starting with poetry. My two collections are Letting in the Carnival (Peterloo, 1984) and Henry’s Bridge (Starborn, 2009). Both are out of print, both publishers are defunct, and sadly their principals, Harry Chambers and Peter Oram, have died. They contain poems published in the UK, USA, Canada, and Ireland. Orchards, a verse translation of Rilke’s French sequence Vergers (Starborn, 2011) which I co-authored with Peter Oram, is also out of print. Letting in the Carnival had good reviews, Henry’s Bridge hardly any.

I’m working on getting a new collection published. My poems have appeared recently in publications such as Poetry Review, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, Quagmire Magazine, The MacGuffin, Scintilla, The Dark Horse, Silver Birch Press, Hole in the Head Review, BlueHouse Journal, The Plaza Prize Anthology, and The Frogmore Papers.

I enjoy doing readings and running workshops but although I have great respect for performance poets I am not one of them. I have attended poetry workshops in Key West with Sharon Olds, in Provincetown with Gail Mazur, at Totleigh Barton with David Morley, and at Lumb Bank with Jenny Couzyn and Adrian Mitchell. I won third prize in the National Poetry Competition 2000.

Now short fiction. My collections are ‘Take a Look at Me-e-e! ‘ (Pont Books, 2014) and ‘My Life With Eva’ (Parthian, 2017). Here too I’m working on getting another collection published. My recent short fiction is in Tears in the Fence, The Lampeter Review, The Interpreter’s House, New Welsh Reader, The Last Line Journal, Mechanics Institute Review, Litro Magazine, Reflex Press, Samyukta Fiction, Otherwise Engaged Journal, and Sixfold Fiction with more forthcoming in Streetlight Magazine. ‘Take a Look at Me-e-e!’ is for children and as far as I know has had no reviews. ‘My Life with Eva’ has had one (In New Welsh Review), fortunately a very good one.