The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
There was a brief period in the sixties
when my dad was out of work and had no money.
He sold my old push-bike to a neighbour for
a pound. It seemed like such a lot then and
I remember he was very reluctant to break into it —
it was like the last pound note in the world;
but when he finally did for a round of ice creams, it seemed to last forever.
Paul Birtill was born in Walton, Liverpool in 1960. He moved to London in his early twenties when he began writing, and apart from a brief period in Glasgow, has lived there ever since. His poems appear regularly in national newspapers, magazines and literary journals and he has read them on national radio and at poetry venues nationwide. He has published a number of collections on the Hearing Eye imprint including the best-selling Terrifying Ordeal and Collected Poems 1987-2010. His new collection Smoking in the Cinema is now available. Paul is also an accomplished playwright, and several of his plays have been staged at London theatres including Happy Christmas, The Lodger and Squalor, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Verity Bargate award.