Introducing Mark Andrew Heathcote
Mark Andrew Heathcote has followed his heart, allowing his poems to breathe with a spontaneous out pour, and then shape them into something ageless, beautiful, and mysterious. His work is a mixed combination of love songs, spirituality and nature. At times he enjoys combining the blurred lines between the three; blending them together, to become one.
Mark drew his inspiration for writing again after reading W. B. Yeats, Matthew Arnold and the self-published poems of William Blake; Songs of innocence. He remembers having first read them 25 years ago. Since then, he has went on to read many other great modern day poets. Mark is proud of what he has managed to achieve with his poetry thus far and has developed a good following of friends and fellow poets online who appreciate his ongoing efforts to give them something hopefully memorable to read.
Mark resides in Greater Manchester in the United Kingdom. He is a father of five children, 3 boys and 2 girls and is living with his current partner Elaine. His dream is to one day, be a self-employed author that can afford to buy his own home and to do some traveling.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Hi Mark, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Mark: Thank you for asking.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Mark: Well, I was born in Withington, Manchester, 1 of 3 children I was the eldest and the only boy. We lived in a 3-bed terrace house with no bathroom or indoor toilet. I lived there until the age of 9 and was a quiet and unhappy child, but that changed when the family moved to the countryside where I then had the freedom to explore nature at first hand. I spent much of my free time climbing trees and swimming in lakes and rivers, making rope swings, stuff like that. I was looked on as a kind of Tarzan figure that’s how all other kids saw me. I was never academic and was years behind all the other children at school, I struggled badly in high school and didn’t learn a great deal. I left school age, 16 taking dead-end jobs on local farms and then in factories leaving home at age, 17 by then there had been a messy divorce and relationships weren’t good all round and haven’t improved, all that much since. So I moved back to Manchester where I’m still residing now and have done ever since.
Creative Talents Unleashed: So when did you fall in love with poetry or writing in general, when did you decide this life was for you? Tell us a bit about that discovery process.
Mark: I’ve always loved poetry as far back as I can remember. It sounds kind of silly, I know, but children see poetry in everything; I guess it’s a part of their inner innocence. At school whenever a teacher made a request for me to put something down on paper, I’d go into a total panic and then pen a short poem and the teachers were always impressed and loved them and would ask me to read them out in class. The first one I wrote was age, 6 and at around that time, I can remember my sisters singing the nursery rhyme, ring a ring a roses,I stood there watching from a distance as they danced giddily around their bedroom floor doing all the actions, and I can clearly remember thinking how much I loved the sound of the words and how happy it made me feel and how happy it made them feel. I guess I knew then that poetry was always going to be a part of my life.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Why do you write, what is it that you’re trying to communicate through your work?
Mark: I write because it’s what I feel I’m meant to be doing personally. And because it can kind of help me to excise any demons, demons that we all have and hopefully, therefore, reach a better understanding of myself and others and the world around me in general. I guess it’s a kind of catharsis-process a self-help therapy, and in sharing my poems, it’s also a connection with others going through the same ordeals as me. I like my poems to leave a positive message and have an optimistic outlook on life.
I have real difficulty with seasonal depression, each year; it’s an ongoing battle from late July to the end of November. Poetry I find is a big help in this dark period of my life, it’s also when I write heaps more poems, and it helps me somehow keep my sanity intact when it’s beginning to fray.
“They say every good poet needs a little madness in them, and maybe that’s true of me”.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Where does your inspiration come from, what might inspire you at any moment to write a story or poem?
Mark: My inspiration comes from everywhere and everything; poets are a kind of lightning rod a conductor that’s always switched-on pointing upward, waiting around to be lightning struck: So often I’ll just empty my head of all thoughts, read, and listen to music but when there’s no lightning or muse, my body aches internally for its high voltage. I then feel cut off from a part myself. But sometimes inspiration comes, with just hearing a couple of words spoken side by side or even miss hearing something in a different context and that’s all it takes to start me writing.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the hardest thing about writing your book?
Mark: All these poems; were already written so the difficulty was choosing the ones to leave out: I’ve written that many poems, so finding a theme was the hardest part and then the editing. All of my poems goes into dozens & dozens of rewrites, but trying to get the finishing article just so can be very frustrating, especially when you would much rather be writing a new poem.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the easiest thing about writing your book?
Mark: Writing the poems was a labour of love, so I will just say that.
Creative Talents Unleashed: There are many authors who say that in the process of writing a book you learn things about yourself. Did you learn anything in your book writing process about yourself, if so what?
Mark: The process of writing and editing my own, book and having great difficulty with spelling has taught me that I can achieve what I put my mind too. I believe I’ve always had a bit of trouble with dyslexia, I have spent most of my free time in life either reading or writing, but it never seems to improve very much and has always affected my confidence badly. So this achievement is a shot in the arm for that.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What in your view is the role or responsibility of a writer or poet, if there is any?
Mark: We all have checks and balances put against us at home, at work, by government and such, we all do wrong, we do bad things and forget who we truly are, even how to express stuff internally to ourselves. Poetry can at times heal and connect us, make us feel less alone that the feelings we had someone else had too. The tears I spilt someone else felt. The heartache I experienced when a very close friend or lover passed away someone else also felt. Poetry at times can give hope and meaning and bring joy and laughter it can at times even restore some of our dignity and humanity towards one another. So in my view, it is the role or responsibility of a writer or poet, to try and do all of the above as best as they can themselves.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What are your ambitions as a writer, where do you hope to see yourself in say 5 years?
Mark: I’ve written so many poems I’d like to continue publishing many more books. I’d dearly like to write, poems that somehow connect us all and have a little longevity, after I cease to be. I think that is the true goal of most poets.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Who is your favorite writer or poet? Perhaps you have a favorite quote from them that you would like to share.
Mark: I have so, so many poets I really, really like now it’s difficult to name but a few: Marina Tsvetayeva, Rilke, F. I. Tyutchev, Lucian Blaga, Wilfred Owen
First two lines of Lucian Blaga, poem: Silence
Such a deep silence surrounds me, that I think I hear
moonbeams striking on the windows.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who have dreams of publishing or making writing a career choice?
Mark: Don’t disparage or despair, listen to and follow your own heart and write as much as you can and when you aren’t writing—read.
A Poem from In Perpetuity
Love Has No…
Love has no boundaries
No wall’s no fences nor any enemies
Love has no trenches
No bows & arrows
No silly, childish, jealousies
Love has no disparities
No axes to grind, no one to undermine
Nor penalizing penalties
Love hasn’t any favourites
No hidden agendas irregularities.
Love is love, is love is love.
© Mark Heathcote
Preface . . .
These poems are a snapshot of twenty-five years of poetry in the making. My words have given form to a living, breathing diary of one man’s life. Come take my hand and travel with me through moments of disparity, passion, and joy in my first collection of poetry titled In Perpetuity. Like a beautiful painting left behind in a museum; I give you my words. Forever leaving you, a piece of me.
Visit Mark’s Author Page At: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/mark-andrew-heathcote.html
Categories: Creative Talents Unleashed