Paul Sutherland has published seventeen collections of poetry, including ‘New and Selected Poems’ which in 2017 was celebrated as one of the ten best books of the year by The
Morning Star newspaper. He’s won literary awards, won grants and participated in many projects.
His work also includes lectures on Sufi poets and English Literature, leading seminars, mentoring, collaboration with musicians and visual artists.
He runs creative workshops for all abilities including children and disabled participants. His writers' retreats are always inspiring occasions and have included a poetry weekend at Cambridge Muslim College with a fascinating talk on Divine Poetry.
We’re fortunate enough to be working with Paul to publish his latest title ‘Child Roots’ which is a collection of writings bringing renewed perspective to debates about the fate of children in present society in which trials of divorce, separation and estrangement have impacted on countless young lives.
Please tell us about how you came to write your latest poems and short fiction.
I have lived in pain since 2012 when my beloved step-granddaughter Farrah Feather was taken from me, when we became estranged. The event around the falling out, with her mother in particular, have stimulated a great range of thinking and writing about the reality of childhood. I had always looked upon it as idyllic.
The creeping anguish of seeing how family and parental deceptions and manipulations underlying 'enforced separation', have compelled a review of my understanding of childhood and what children suffer and endure when estranged from loved ones.
I write about intimate and global wars and how they affect the destinies of the underage. Many of the poems and short prose pieces refer to how children become, brutally often, severed from their ideal childhoods.
As a consequence, 'Child Roots' also explores how children become 'proactive' (sometimes brutally) in an attempt to 'rescue' their innocence or conversely rush forward, leap years ahead, for protection, to become adolescents, like forced flowers, push into adulthood before their time.
The collection still highlights the mysterious wonders of a child's mind and heart and will. The book also I hope, points out the child's rooted vulnerability from the first poem with its claim of a 'horrid cuddle' to what many youngsters express - a fear of ecological and political crises overwhelming their frail lives.
Your can connect with Paul HERE