Outside of school magazines and a local writers’ group anthology Gary’s first published work was in 2011 for Litter, the online magazine run by Leafe Press. The poem, Love Letter, remains one of his most powerful. Since then he has had more than sixty pieces published in literary magazines and anthologies. He occasionally enters competitions and has had wins, placed entries and commended/highly commended pieces. His first collection, In a Town was published by Dream Well Poetry in late 2021. His work as resident poet is well received, work is produced to a good quality in a timely manner.
Gary has judged several written poetry and Flash Fiction competitions since 2001 and has been an invited judge at slams in Stafford and Leamington Spa. After completing a Mentoring course with Writing East Midlands he has mentored poets towards producing collections and through producing portfolios. He has copy edited two books and been the editor on two local anthologies, also the main editor and compiler of off centre magazine of Midlands arts.
Most recently Gary was Resident Poet for the Village of Hatton Platinum Jubilee celebrations, where he wrote a Jubilee Sonnet, long piece based on 70 years of local memories and events (now on display in the village hall), compiled a book of local writing and memories, arranged – and read in – a reading at a local Jubilee gala, organised a poetry tent and events at the gala and advised on arts activities. He has been commissioned to write poems for individuals, Voices of 1919, the Olympic Baton arriving in Burton upon Trent and Aldridge Transport Museum amongst others. Gary has organised poetry events for more than a decade, including Spoken Worlds, Fragile and Distraction open mic events in Burton, The P… Word at Brewhouse Arts Centre and Boating Bards &Buffet for his MA “Writer in the Community” Module. He is comfortable with technology and organised two online events per week during Covid lockdown, transforming these into hybrid Live/online events. During lockdown he was a technical co-ordinator for the NAWG annual event, helping with the move to online conferencing and workshops. As a DJ he is familiar with, and owns, video equipment, microphones, PA systems, and lighting sufficient for halls and venues up to medium sizes.