2005 Communication and Cultural Studies and
Media alumnus, Ian Harker, secured a two-book deal with respected poetry
publisher, Templar Poetry in 2015. Ian was chosen as one of three winners
of Templar Poetry's Pamphlet Competition and his debut collection, The
End of the Sky, will
launch at the Derwent Literature Festival this November. A longer, second book,
will follow within a couple of years.
Ian has further reason to celebrate, after
finding out that he will read his poetry at Keats House for the London launch
of The End of the Sky on
Tuesday 29 March 2016.
Ian started writing poetry during the first year
of his degree at Leeds Trinity in 2002 and, since graduating, he has vigorously
pursued a career in poetry. His work has been published in a number of
magazines and last year he was also shortlisted for two major competitions -
the Bridport Prize and the Troubadour prize.
"The momentum for my poetry built at Leeds
Trinity for two reasons. Firstly, going to university really inspired me and
gave me the freedom to meet new people and gather new ideas. Secondly, I
couldn't afford a television license, so I read in my room instead!
"The course had superb staff, and lecturers
such as John Poulter really opened up my mind and started my critical thinking
processes. Outside of lectures, I was also an active member of the Drama
Since graduating, Ian has worked at Blackwells
Bookshop, in Leeds, which will be the venue for his first book launch.
"There isn't a lot of money in poetry, but
I've always immersed myself in it for the love of writing. The time and
energy I've put into poetry is now paying off and I'm delighted to have my work
recognised. Exciting times are ahead, but initially I need to publicise
my first book and then work on making the second one longer. I'm
determined to keep up the quality of my work and firmly believe in the old
adage that you're only as good as your last book."
As well as working in Blackwells, Ian is also a
volunteer English Language Teacher for refugees and asylum seekers.