Coming Clean Contributors

Kathryn Bell was born in Glasgow and went to work in Africa where she met Elsa Wallace. She has been writing for about 25 years. Her short stories have been published in Sappho, Capital Gay, Gazebo, The Green Queen and Queer Haunts. She produces the quarterly GAW Newsletter and edits The Green Queen.

She would like to write a novel but – so she says – lacks the stamina. She enjoys folk music, chocolate and arguing.

Steve Ferris published his first collection of short stories, The Cub-Hunting Season, in 1994, but remained fairly fallow since then . This is the first time any of his poetry has appeared in print, although he intends to bring out a monograph later in 2014.

He considers himself primarily a painter, with thousands of finished pictures to his name and several solo exhibitions to date. He was hung in the Royal Academy Summer Show for the first time in 2012, and now has a gallery in Saffron Walden which promotes his work.

Ramon Gonzalez was born in Galicia, Spain in 1947 and moved to London in 1971. Painting has been a great passion since his school days and one of his recent paintings was used to illustrate the book cover for A Life’s Tales by Joe Hucknall, his partner, whose memoirs were published this year.

He has combined the activity of painting with that of writing poetry since his teenage years. The themes of his poems are often abstract concepts which illustrate another great interest of his which is Philosophy.

Dina Gordon, 24, is an actor and performance poet. Published here are two portions of a long series of poems she began writing in November 2012 surrounding ‘Alberto’, an ongoing depiction of a guy in Shoreditch, first performed at the Flying Dutchman in London.

Michael Harth is a founder member of Gay Authors Workshop. His stories have appeared in various gay publications, going back to Quorum one of the first gay magazines. He has produced three volumes of short stories, The Picnic, A Little Chat and The Physent. He has edited two short story anthologies, The Best of Gazebo and Eros at Large, re-issued and updated a previous anthology of ghost stories, Queer Haunts, as well as editing the GAW in-house magazine, Gazebo.
He has always had a fondness for intimate revue, and wrote the words and music for a gay revue, Going Gay, produced on the Edinburgh and London Fringes. A one-act science-fiction musical, Briefer Encounters, was performed at Gay Pride Week in the 1990s.

His poems have appeared in Slivers of Silver and Oysters and Pearls. He is editor of Lightning Fingers, a symposium on the British composer-pianist Billy Mayerl.
Mike looks for melody in music, and rhyme and rhythm in verse. Several of his poems included in Coming Clean have a lead-in and refrain. They should be read – or sung – aloud.

Jeremy Kingston was born in London and brought up in various Home Counties before returning to live in London. Two of his stage plays have been produced in the West End and more on the Fringe, most recently Oedipus at the Crossroads and Making Dickie Happy. He is the author of a novel Love among the Unicorns and two children’s books. For ten years he was the theatre critic of Punch and for the past twenty years has been a theatre critic on The Times. His first poetry collection On the Lookout appeared in 2008. He joined GAW in 2012 and his story ‘A Question of Taste’ appeared in the Paradise Press anthology Eros at Large. A revival of Oedipus at the Crossroads is scheduled for 2014.

Jazmine Linklater is an artist and writer, working towards a BA Honours degree in Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich, London. Her studies are focused on poetry and short story writing. Her artistic practice is centred around language, with a focus on semi-autobiographical, illustrative and performative works. Over the course of 2013 Jazmine has exhibited and read at various events including York Literature Festival, artist Franko B’s pop-up exhibition UNTOUCHABLE in Camberwell, and shown work as part of the collective Nowt But Spit an’ Glue in Leeds. She also collaboratively curated her first exhibition, post-Jefferson Airplane, and has been working with writer Nick Thurston from the independent publishing imprint ‘Information as Material’.

Elizabeth J. Lister was a single parent and schoolteacher. Early retirement in 1987 has given her the opportunity to develop the subjects she taught: Art, English and Drama. She has painted and exhibited and acted in the two plays she has written: Imago and Death and My Mother and Me. At the age of seventy she was encouraged to write fiction and while working at her first novel, a lesbian romance, she undertook the two year Academy of Children’s Writers course and won second prize in the Academy’s 2011 annual competition. Her three romances published by Paradise Press are: Prisoner 537, My Life Outside and Nothing Stays the Same. The fourth novel in the series will be published in 2014, and she is writing a fifth! Elizabeth has three short stories in Paradise Press anthologies and, as competition second prizes, one in Writers’ Forum, (March 2010) and one in Chapter One Promotions anthology (2013).

Elizabeth does not claim to write ‘poetry’. She says she jots down and arranges words that run well together and have something to say.

David Reade was born during the Second World War and grew up in Chelmsford before settling in London for 30 years. He now lives contentedly in warm Thailand. He has always distrusted all kinds of authority, including his father and his headmaster. He has composed many short stories, several appearing in the GAW Newsletter and the anthologies People Your Mother Warned You About and Eros at Large. He has written four novels and many poems.

Adrian Risdon’s ‘Risdon’s Survey of Shropshire’ is a verse-story (one of a sequence of seven such ‘Surveys’), and appears in Coming Clean in its entirety. Using Edmund Spenser’s stanza with its famously long last line the poem empowers the individual reader to control how much (s)he wishes to read at a sitting. The ‘Surveys’ have been performed by poetry groups – Adrian reciting lines 1–8 and his audience chanting the long last line: ‘ballad’ (as it were) followed by ‘refrain’. The ‘Surveys’ all tell the same tragi-comical story: he made a mistake and was punished for it severely.

Julie Rutherford has been published in various magazines, anthologies and online. She has written song cycles Towards the Light, Winter When Past Unseen, and an oratorio, Cantio Animae. She hopes to develop her work with composers. She finds inspiration walking in the rain and drizzle in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

She supports the work of Centred (formerly Kairos in Soho).

Ivor Treby, who died in 2012, was a prolific poet, an early Gay Activist, and sometime member of GAW. He was born in Devonport, the only son of a shipwright. He studied Biochemistry at Oxford, and went into teaching. He began writing poetry seriously in the late 1970s. Some of his early works were about Gay Liberation. After his parents’ deaths he was free to devote himself to writing and travel.

He published five volumes of poetry, Warm Bodies, Foreign Parts, Woman with Camellias, Translations from the Human, and Blanche’s Last Fling. He virtually abandoned writing poetry to edit the poems of Michael Field, the pseudonym of two lesbian poetesses of the late nineteenth century. Ivor resumed writing in 2006 and until his death produced over sixty poems. A handful of these were published in small magazines, and a few surfaced at the readings he gave to local gay groups. His unpublished poems 2007–2012 have now been edited by John Dixon, the co-editor of this volume, and are published by Paradise Press. It seemed appropriate that a short selection appear in this anthology.

Elsa Wallace spent her first thirty years in the Rhodesias, now Zimbabwe and Zambia. She has been writing for forty years, mostly short stories, and was an early member of the Gay Authors Workshop. She has written the novels Merle, and A Short History of Lord Hyaena, and has contributed many stories, often with an African setting, to several GAW anthologies. Her volume of stories The Monkey Mirror appeared in 2011 and she has recently published a volume of ghost stories, Ghosts and Gargoyles. She is working on Musungu, stories about a different sort of ghost.

Elsa’s favourite authors are Ivy Compton Burnett and Dickens. Her interests include ghosts, human and animal welfare, veganism and tapestry. She works with a number of Lesbian and Gay groups.

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