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Poetry Competitions UK
14 Jun 2011

Barry Van-Asten

My name is Barry Van-Asten and I was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire in 1969. As a young boy growing up 'midway, between the Rivers Cole and Rea', (now known as the Shire after Tolkien's childhood there) I became fascinated by reading and books in general; I began to collect rare editions, especially the works of Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood; in fact, my love of reading and books began with Poe's 'Tales of mystery and imagination'. It opened a doorway for me into a secret world of literature and it wasn't long before I began to write. I enrolled on a writing course while completing my studies in illustration and fine art, another passion of mine. After a degree course in the Humanities with the Open University I completed a degree in art at Roehampton University in Surrey.

The poem 'Birthlines' speaks of a lost 'mythical energy' that existed in the old wood; a strange witchcraft that the ancients knew of, respected, feared and called upon... The other poems are from my first collection of poetry 'Ghost Blooms' and a further unfinished second collection 'Night Flowers'. I have also had several poems included in anthologies.

I also enjoy playing the guitar and other interests include: films, gardens and landscape, architecture, spirituality, walking, wildlife, camping, ancestry, history, supernatural...
I am currently living and working in London.

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