This week, before I go on a wireless vacation, I’m delighted to showcase the talents of a gentleman known to thousands of devoted fans as Owain Glyn. Not only is he one of the most prolific poets I’ve ever run across but his work spans the emotional spectrum from romantic sonnets to whimsy and scathing diatribes against politicians to anything that “fits in a sock drawer” (a collection he calls Miss Sellanious). Although he is revered on Wattpad (the free-read site where I first ran into him) and could easily rest on his laurels, he still finds the time to read and comment on literally hundreds of poems and stories of all genres every day! One of his poetry collections, Windswept, has just been published by Outer Banks. Here are some early reviews:
Welsh writer Owain Glyn has brought us a collection of poetry worthy of his homeland Windswept is exquisite, you will want to keep it by your bedside for years to come. – V.L. Sloan
Windswept is awash with words that appear simple but work like magic. This is poetry that Tom, Dick, and Harriet (And I) can read, and enjoy. It connects with us, and has the power to transform us. – Colm Herron
Owain Glyn’s Windswept brings to mind the great romantic poetry of the nineteenth century. It’s nuances eloquently displayed through the shifting winds that have swept through heart of this wonderful poet. – Lisa Cole Allen
And now meet Glyn Hockey!
JTT: Greetings my friend! Congratulations on the publication of Windswept! I’m looking forward to soaking in a bubbly bath, drinking champagne and reading your beautiful poems by candlelight. (And then maybe a little hanky panky later with the hubby) Here is one of my favorites:
What would you do
If I turned up on your doorstep
At two in the morning
Dressed only in my violin?
The one without a bow
That I play in the metro
Surrounded by funnel web spiders.
I don’t stay,
Because they say
I can’t play.
This is nonsense
The pantomime horse
On my bedroom wall.
All I really want to say,
Is what would you do
If I turned up on your doorstep
At two in the morning
Dressed only in my violin?
Would you send me away?
Because I can’t play?
The thing I love about your poems is they never seem stretched, you know what I mean? It’s as though you just sat down, held a pen in your hand and the words arranged themselves brilliantly on the page. No effort, no sweat.
GH: Ah, I only wish it were that simple. I start with an idea that I hand write, I leave it to settle for a few days before I return to it. if I still think it has merit I will produce a word document that I can edit and play with. A few days later I will return to it again, only if I am still happy, will I post it.
JTT: I think I’ve forgotten how to write by hand! Aside from the fact that you live in Penzance on the coast of Cornwall and have a grandson named Jack who you’re urging on to naughtiness, all I know about you is from Tag it A-Z:
- You’re allergic to royalty, politicians and tax collectors so you only eat them sparingly on rare occasions.
- You love cake so much that you plan to be buried in a large chocolate eclair.
- Apparently you wear underwear only when you expect to be run over by a bus.
Any other revealing things we should know about you?
GH: I guess my sense of humour reflects my interest in life, it is also a defence mechanism that helps me to see that not all is as bad as it may appear. I am an animal lover, (being Welsh that means a strong emphasis on sheep) and a follower of Rugby Union, (Welsh Rugby Union) I consider all the years spent residing in England as missionary work.
JTT: I guess it was a sacrifice you had to make! I enjoyed England although I never want to drive there again. For readers who know little (or nothing) about Wattpad, it’s very common on that site for writers to work together on collections – sometimes romantic, sometimes silly, sometimes holiday themed. You’ve participated in a couple, my favorite being your The Whole Cole collaboration with a writer known as @knightwriter. It’s a tit-for-tat between Old King Cole and his homicidal wife Alice. When you were working on it did you ask your wife and beloved mother-in-law (about whom you speak so sweetly) to act out scenes? (you know – to get inspired…)
GH: I had considered my mother-in- law for role play but she was far too busy teaching Ghengis Khan some basic manners.
JTT: Glad to hear she’s keeping busy! From the silly to the very very serious, three of your collections, Armageddon, Marta, and the World According to Owain, address the many injustices in the world, leading you in one poem to ask:
“So, my question,
if man is forged in the image of God,
is he or she as perverse as we?”
In other poems (War, for example) you expose a deep contempt for government institutions :
“I am war,
the whore of your government,
I ride my black steed among you,
at their invitation.”
Do you think there’s any hope for this world of ours?
GH: There is much darkness in this world of ours, but there are shafts of light too. Conflicts are not caused by the many, but by the few. If we all learn the meaning of a few words; tolerance, compassion, empathy, we have a chance. We need to celebrate our differences, not use them as barriers.
JTT: Sigh. You’re so right. I really wish we could go on forever but I know you’re busy with the release so let’s conclude with a final question about Wattpad. The openness of the site has led people to post just about anything, which has resulted in toes being stepped on, gripes about the software they’re using, and the airing of personal health issues which can be difficult to “vote” on. As a former “ambassador” (community advisor) you’ve tried to remind people to be civil and to remember that it is a free site. Do you think eventually they will begin monitoring content more closely than they currently do? For those people who are not familiar with Wattpad, what would you like to say about your experience?
GH: Wattpad has the capacity to be a wonderful place, it allows writers of all levels of competency to interact. None of us becomes a master overnight, it takes practice, and encouragement. Wattpad, and its users are a microcosm of wider humanity. Yes, there are glitches more than I would like, but with a platform this size some problems are inevitable.
JTT: I’m always amazed by the generosity of other writers on that site. You’re absolutely right – despite a few problems, it’s a great place to mingle.
Thanks again for taking the time to be here with me. I really appreciate it. Releasing a book can be an extremely trying time. I had to hire a caretaker to strap me into a straight jacket (which made for a very interesting release party!) Then, as the reviews came in, post release anxieties descended on me like evil flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz! “Did I release too early? Too late?” To save you from such a fate, I’d like to point you to the best advice I’ve come across regarding life in general and fame in particular:
“If you compare yourself to others, never look upwards, you will get dizzy and invariably disappointed. Always look downwards, that way you can make sure your feet are firmly on the ground and pointed in the right direction.” – Owain Glyn, Advice to My Sons
My friends, I have only touched on the depth of this man’s talents. You can read some of his poems on Wattpad for free but maybe not for long! OwainGlyn on Wattpad
For a limited time you can order a copy directly from the publisher for $9.99 click Windswept – Poems of Love. Bring some love into your life!
See you all in a week!
17 thoughts on “The Passionate and Whimsical Poet of Penzance”
Where are you going on your ‘wireless vacation’?
John and I are off to Sedona this Friday. John’s knee went BAD two days ago. He can barely walk on it and needs my help to get sock and shoe on. I will probably have to do most of the driving but I feel up for the challenge. Marlene and Ilan will be meeting us there…. and I believe Jake Gorba is going to join all of us for dinner one evening. We won’t be able to do any hiking but time won’t be wasted. John is looking forward to having hours to play with Ilan on his new photography computer programs. Rummikub, jigsaw puzzles, pool time and steam showers are calling my name.
Loved this interview.
ps. Carol’s outback journey with the flies looked absolutely AWFUL!!!!!
We’re going back to Washington DC and NYC – if the hurricane will let us! Have fun in Sedona – all my best to Ilan and Marlene. Sorry to hear about John’s knees!
Your interviews are so good, Jan. Insightful questions and comments that open the way for Glyn Hockey to share his insights with us. I’m looking forward to a great read!
Thanks KC Gal – reading his poetry always makes me think or love or giggle! And he’s a real gent as well!
Great interview, Jan and Glyn! I’ve seen Glyn’s comments on your blog in the past, but of course, never knew what a wonderful poet he is. Thanks for sharing the beautiful “violin” poem, as well as snippets of others. I’ll certainly be checking out more of Glyn’s poems!
He is a joy in every way! I adore the violin poem as well!
I think the best I can do is to post a very humble thankyou.
Jan, I really enjoyed your delightful interview with Mr. Glyn. However, I wouldn’t recommend making a habit of running across subjects to get a one on one. Well at least it wasn’t hit and run. Hope you and your husband have a wonderful time in DC and NYC, and be careful. 😀
I left tire tracks across Glyn’s back but I think he’s forgiven me! Had a great time in DC and NYC – actually survived!
Yes, sounds like appears to be none the worse for the interview. That’s incredible, you made it back! Seriously Jan, glad you had a great time. :O)
The Magic Forest was a delightful series that I enjoyed from beginning to end. My students in the elementary grades would have loved the whumplethump character that Glyn created just as much as I did. Unfortunately I had retired by the time this was written but I will always think of it as a wonderful collection to “hook kids on poetry.”
Gail Runschke , October 2, 2015
Thanks Gail- perhaps he can get those published as well!
I followed the link Glyn gave in his WattPad message – excellent interview, well done!!
Glyn has some great writing on WattPad. I always enjoy reading his poetry, in humour or otherwise, he draws the reader in. And he’s such a good reader and encourager too. So good to read a bit more about the lovely man. Thanks for your efforts in creating this post Jan! 🙂
I guess it’s no secret most of us, we – his readers – love all things, @OwainGlyn. I can truthfully say, this love affair began with such wonderful works as ‘Windswept,’ and ‘Whumplethump and The Magic Forest.”
Thanks Sloanie! Let’s hope more of his work gets published! Hope you are doing well.