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OTHER PEOPLE’S FLOWERS Tricia Durdey: Writer

I first met David and Sylvia Selzer – www.sylviaselzer.com – many years ago when, as a child, I would go to watch my parents rehearsing plays at Chester Little Theatre. At first I saw them as newcomers (if younger) joining a group of eccentric and opaque would-be-actors, producers, and set designers, who were also surrogate aunties and uncles to my sister and me. Gradually, as I grew up, I became more aware of their vitality, curiosity and creative urgency, and I no longer thought of them merely as two in a crowd, but as my own special friends.

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OTHER PEOPLE’S FLOWERS Mary Clark: Writer

David kindly asked me to contribute to ‘Other People’s Flowers‘.  I’ve enjoyed his poetry for more than half a decade now, having linked up on LinkedIn. His encouragement while I was writing one of my more complex books, Community, was invaluable. Community is a political memoir, tinged with urban scenes and community activism. For David, though, I included several excursions into the art world, including a brief description of a book signing and reading at New York University’s student center in 1986. In it, Germaine Bree and actress Irene Worth read portions of Marguerite Duras’ work.

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OTHER PEOPLE’S FLOWERS: ‘Twelve Poems’ by Clive Watkins

David Selzer and I first got to know each other in 1965 through the University of Liverpool Poetry Society. Under David’s energetic leadership, in 1966 the Society brought a young Seamus Heaney and a young Michael Longley from Northern Ireland to read to us. This was some months before Seamus Heaney’s first collection, Death of a Naturalist, appeared from Faber, and at this point Michael Longley had published no more than a single pamphlet. Neither had read outside Northern Ireland. The third of the notable young Northern Irish poets to emerge during those years, Derek Mahon,

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OTHER PEOPLE’S FLOWERS: Three Poems by Alan Horne

I read once – perhaps it was a quotation from José Saramago – that the writer’s life is the detritus left behind by the work. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it sounds better than any autobiographical introduction I can think up. I worked years ago in a steelworks, have a very longstanding interest in psychoanalysis and – perhaps it’s a reaction to all those clinics – now spend a lot of time outside. Here are three short poems which bear on these matters. Thanks to David for the chance to put them before you. At age 14 I found that we had a new English teacher called Mr Selzer,

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OTHER PEOPLE’S FLOWERS: ‘The Point of Vanishing Stability’ John Huddart

I set out believing I was a reader, a collector of books. It was marvellous that the children I taught could write engagingly – and it would certainly stand them in good stead when they became readers too. Years into teaching, struggling with the burdens of so many unread books, I was plucked from the classroom and deposited in the National Writing Project, because I had been snared by word processing.

The Project had several key principles – one was that teachers of writing should be writers too. How can you expect them to, if you don’t? So I started to write,

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