Poet Spotlight: Omar Majeed

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Meet Omar

Omar Majeed is a local Hereford Poet.  Born in Crewe, Cheshire he grew up in Hereford having attended the Cathedral School and studied photography at Hereford Art College. Later on he went to Kingston upon  Thames, initially to study journalism, but his creative instincts lead him into a degree in Graphic Design.  Now back in Hereford he works as a copywriter and is studying fine art. He does the occasional poetry reading, makes short films for fun with friends and is reworking his passion project: SCree Magazine.

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Omar’s Writing

We r all one we always win is a collection of over a decade’s worth of his poetry. Majeed can occasionally be found reading poems from this collection at events such as Booth Fest and most recently Courtyard Hereford’s Poetry Slam.

You can purchase a copy of his latest poetry book on his Etsy Shop: GravityEnterprises.

Here’s a taste of his way with words…

All That Is Within Our Grasp

We hold on tight to the hands
of those we love
as they hold on tight to us,

as if we may float away
should they or we
loosen our grip,

and still
through knuckles white
we let them slip.

“… In your hands a pine cone spirals, draped in cobwebs. A tiny spider crawls across your knuckles. Books lie beside us, unread as we chat in chapters about this and that.”

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Omar’s Poetry book: we r all one we always win is available on Etsy

Notably at Apple Store Gallery in Hereford there are some copies available to buy. Apple Store Gallery is also where Majeed has done some readings at their poetry nights and he participated in a group art show last year for them. Omar has long been interested in poetry since his school days and won the Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2002. He’s had stuff published in Kingston’s Ripple mag and Short cuts competition pamphlet where his poem Duet was chosen as the winner.

One of Omar’s short stories about Aldous Huxley’s deathbed LSD experience was published in Askance’s Positional Vertigo collection available on paper copy and Kindle.

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On Drawing

“Up until a couple of years ago I hadn’t done much drawing.  I mostly worked with text and photography.  My friends used to gather together in Lucy Baxendale’s living room and draw, an informal gathering that turned into a Drawing Club which meets every third Thursday at De Koffie Pot in the evening.  I was hanging out with everyone drawing.  They would give me a page out of their notebook and a pen and I would scribble stuff.  Gradually I wanted a ‘thing’ and started just drawing people from my imagination that I called my imaginary friends. This developed into the wooden painted sculptures that I showed at the end of my portfolio course. I like drawing people from the recesses of my head and then naming them. I’m thinking of giving them stories.”

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Copies of Gravity zine

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His Magazine

“For about six years I was producing Gravity zine, which largely comprised of art submissions to a theme, and a bit of writing, mainly from Hereford creative and a few sympathizers.  The template involved putting out a call for work and then laying everything out and photocopying.  We had colour covers from Issue four letter-pressed by Fishbone press, and started hand sewing the binding. My friends would all get together regularly to help me put everything together. It was a collective endeavor to celebrate all the amazing work that was around and not a commercial venture.  I rarely made my print costs back. I gave everyone who contributed a copy and that was enough for a while.  SCree is an idea developed with Graphic Designer and Illustrator Johnny Burrage to make a more developed magazine, featuring articles about important contemporary topics and covering cultural events for which we can have an editorial team commissioning up to the minute articles and illustrations, and the layout is a bit more structured and professional. We want to be able to pay people for their work because artists have to work for free too often.  We are currently exploring funding models.  Keep an eye on the SCree Facebook page and Screezine.com for news.”

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Among Majeed’s other creative projects he makes short films such as this one titled Lorem Ipsum made alongside with Johnny Burrage last year starring local musician Elspeth Anne Macrae. They’re working on a new one, titled Un Chien Errant (a lost dog.) He also writes semi-regularly for Minky Cuadra at Hereford City Centric blog.

Omar wrote a novella which he describes as a “transgressive noirish experimental thriller” called Dark under a pen name. The paper copies have sold out but it is available as a Kobo ebook here.

Check out the synopsis:

Ex-professional footballer Thomas Peterson receives a phone call alerting him to a disappearance that throws his already spiraling life into intrigue and disorder.  A transgressive, post-modernist thriller. Adults only.

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More of Omar’s Poems found on SmallSongsOfHope.blogspot.co.uk
His other website: Is This An Art


Connect with Omar omar-gif

Twitter: @MyDadsJacket
Instagram: @MyDadsJacket
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Catherine’s Poetry Q&A interview by Audrina Lane

Poetry Sunday, Short Interview Questions by Ross-on-Wye Author Audrina Lane

Interview originally conducted by Audrina Lane (Author of The Heart Trilogy)
Official Facebook Page: Facebook.com/AudrinasPlace
Like the page while you are there!

Get her books here: http://amzn.to/2bLCeDw
www.AudrinaLane.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter: @AudrinaLane

Read Audrina’s Author Q&A for Herefordshire Writers here.


  1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself 

My name is Catherine I’m a Hereford born and based Author & Poet. I’ve had dreams of creating my own Bohemian existence since I was a teenager having my first poem published at 15 in a competition run by Young Writers. A decade on I published my first collection of poems in May 2015 aptly titled The Quarter Life Crisis Poet. I’m currently working on a novel which will be Book 1 of a Bohemian Love story called “Welcome to Wonderland.” I find the Writer’s life very solitary so from that loneliness I launched the site: HerefordshireWriters.co.uk which is how I’ve now managed to connect with the lovely Audrina Lane and showcase thriving literary talent in our county.

  1. What made you start to write poetry?

It was a case of alignment. In Summer 2005 I bought John Mayer’s album Room for Squares. He’s an American singer-songwriter and guitar player. It was the first time in my life I encountered not only meaningful lyrics but words and music composed so beautifully together. I admired the attention to detail and craftsmanship. Around that time, I was doing my GCSE’s and in the English Literature classes we were analysing and studying poems. The juxtaposition of my discovering deep and well-composed song lyrics whilst studying poetry in school ignited an active interest in me to actually write poems.

And would you like to share one of your first poems?

I was actually clearing out the garage and stumbled upon old school books over the summer. I can share this one little poem I wrote in November 2000, at age 10.

Hedgehog at Night

Its spikes look like the thorn of pain
Its eyes glint at the hundred stars
Its beady eyes stare out
Its tiny feet woddle around in the grass
Its little nose has a cute bead and reminds me of a button
It’s a Hedgehog.

  1. Do you have a favourite poet? If so would you like to share your favourite poem by them?

Nowadays I lean more towards the new breed of “instapoets” (poets that post on social media sites like tumblr and Instagram) like Tyler Knott Gregson and Rupi Kaur. I follow Jessica Michelle on Instagram @_Jessica.Michelle_

I like that she has audacity to unleash her true feelings, the feelings that we don’t dare confess but if we had the bravery as she does to confess these emotions we’d see how connected and similar our experiences in life are. That we’re all going through pain…

  1. Do you like to write poems on a particular subject or do you prefer to just grab inspiration when it strikes?

I write poems about the feelings and experiences I cannot disclose. Poetry is my way of saying what happened to me, admitting the pain and telling the painful events in my life without having to reveal the full situation. There’s this unique juxtaposition of openness and vulnerability yet keeping the truth veiled; because the truth is too painful to express fully in prose.

  1. Please share with me your 3 favourite poems that you’ve written and explain your choices?

Lost generation is a pretty self-explanatory poem. I wrote it age 20 after dropping out of Law school and feeling the usual angst against establishments and society as a whole. This poem is also prophetic of my path to my romanticised idea of Bohemia and the literary life. (Which I made happen 5 years later.)

“Lost Generation”

We are the heir
To Blair
In academia we make our bet
They get into debt.
Fortune is linear?
Starve, charge and never recharge.
Let’s get skinnier.

We are living it up
Naivety of a pup
In the workplace we are like slaves
Then at night we rave.

Our big break will come.
Chase, trace and encase.
To the beat of our drum

But I will not succumb
You are all so dumb
Here I become
And then some…

An artist.
I escaped to Bohemia
Away from academia
Ran from the curse
In my converse
And then some

Ran away from academia
Away from the curse
In my converse
To Bohemia.


 

This poem is my attempt at redefining “luxury” steering it away from what consumer-based society wants us to believe it is. For a long while art, writing etc was out of my life. I couldn’t create as I naturally would have in younger years, things were so horrid that I couldn’t see past the chaos I had been put in. So now having made the switch back to embracing the arts in my life it feels like a luxury like it’s something precious to have back. Given all the sadness and unhappy circumstances that can arise in life I now feel it’s a luxury to have interests in philosophy, illustration whatever else because there was a time in life when it was just about survival and happiness and creativity couldn’t exist, it just didn’t have the chance to.

LUXURY: PART 1

Poetry is a luxury.
Illustration is a luxury.
My Heart.
Your Art.

Redefining luxury.
All I need is my
Shaker Hymn.
So long as S & M
does not win.
How I love
to speak in this riddle.

Who is the cat
who is the fiddle?
Beware!
The sheep that howls….
But now I’m off to bed.
Dreaming of you in my head.
Not that long ago
I wanted to be dead.

But I must go on.
You must go on.
We must go on.
With Simple Living.
Plain People.
Inspire,
Life in The Shire.


 

Unpublished poems

I’ve started jotting down these smaller, sharper poems that concisely utter the pain, dichotomy and agony of emotions.

Love me or lie to me
It’s all the same?
What’s the difference?

 

“By and Bye”
I dream about you
But I wake up without you

I’m in love with you
But I can’t be with you


 

  1. Where can people find your poems? (Book link, website, FB, Twitter, Instagram etc links)

www.CatherineVaughan.com
Twitter: @CattVaughan
Books: http://amzn.to/2bAOCpJ
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/CatherineVaughanWriter
The Quarter Life Crisis Poet available in
9780993408908

Paperback  The Quarter Life Crisis Poet 300 DPI                                       Kindle                kindle QLC


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Check out my site: HerefordshireWriters.co.uk Celebrating my hometown’s literary heritage

Hfdw yHerefordshireWriters.co.uk is a monthly editorial site showcasing thriving local talent, arts and culture events alongside connecting Writers whether published or unpublished.

HerefordshireWriters.co.uk aims to grow into a Literary Network for all Authors, Poets, Writers and Literature Lovers located in the quaint English county of Herefordshire. We are proud to have a rich, historic and flourishing arts and literature community in this county with world-class annual events taking place here such as Hay Festival and Ledbury Poetry Festival among many others.

Connect on Facebook

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Like us on Facebook to and if you are a Writer born or based in Herefordshire join the Facebook Group found here.

 

 

 

Notably “Writers” INCLUDE: • Bloggers • Digital Content Makers • Editors • Copywriters • Journalists • Infopreneurs • Critics/Reviewers • Ghost Writers • Press agents • Short Story Writers • Technical Writers • Script Doctor • Copy Editor • Literary Editor • Screenwriter • Playwright • Hack Writer •

Fancy getting featured? Drop a message to Catherine on the Herefordshire Writers Facebook page.


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