Sharp Street tells the story of 140 men who died in World War I. They were all from an area of Hull that is a relic of the Industrial Revolution; growing up together, working together and supporting local Rugby teams. The poems offer a narrative of the War from the opening salvos through to the Armistice.
The central characters include Mina, a Mother of three girls and four boys who died in the conflict. One poem, Mina’s Dream uses the image of running into the sea as a metaphor for the machine guns that met the men in no-man’s land. Another poem, Rugs, brings us back to the contemporary conflict in Afghanistan. An end is beginning starts with the notion that you die twice: once when you stop breathing and second when people stop talking about you. The poems seek to keep the talk going.
Rob was born in Halifax and brought up in Hull, he went to school at the Marist College and studied at St Andrews and Oxford Universities. He has been influenced by the local Hull poetry scene from Marvell and Larkin to Douglas Dunn, Sean O'Brien and Peter Didsbury. He has lived and worked in Asia, India and Africa with 13 years in Barcelona and Madrid, speaks French and Spanish and is fascinated by a number of poets read or met on these travels.
Sharp Street is his first published Poetry collection though he has had individual poems appearing in 'Small Candles', an Amnesty International publication and other lesser known magazines in Spain, India and most recently Zambia.
Rob is a prolific blogger with one on frontier markets and another on travel writing. He is also working on a book based on these travels in frontier markets and another poetry book on another historical theme.