I always wanted to write, but it took me a long time to do anything about it. Around the turn of the millennium, I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam University, concentrating on fiction.
I had always written poetry, but it wasn’t until a visit to Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street inspired a poem, that I thought about making poetry my main form. Further inspiration came from attending the 2014 Ilkley Literature Festival, with much encouragement from poet in residence Kim Moore.
I started submitting poems to online and print-based journals, with publication in anthologies from Beehive Poets, Wharfedale Poets and the Friends of Bradford’s Becks, Leads to Leeds, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Prole, The Interpreter’s House, Algebra of Owls, Half Moon: Poems about Pubs and the Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry (alongside poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Ian McMillan). You can read one here or you can see me reading here.
In 2017, I won one of the quarterly portfolio awards from Templar Poetry. This led to my debut poetry pamphlet, Pierrot and His Mother, which was published by Templar, following a launch event at Keats House in London. You can see another of the poems included here, and you can buy a copy of the pamphlet here.
Recently, I have also made a slight return to writing fiction, with two of my short stories published in Some Assembly Required.
"I love the unwavering focus and the clarity of image in Farren’s work. The poems in Pierrot and his Mother question time- time is ‘granular’ and drifting or static and ‘trapped’. The poems deal with the geology of the landscape and the geology of the body- the language of mineral, muscle, blood, bone, erosion and corrosion. They explore the quest to ‘plumb the pools of fat’ and find the ‘self,’ the ‘itch of what [we] are.’ They accept that ‘everything fractures in to fissures in the end.’ but remind us to ‘seize the day’, to celebrate ‘the solid, the here’, the now."
"I met [Mike] when I was Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival. Mike came along to a workshop and wrote a fantastic poem. He seemed not really aware of what a good writer he was."
Time here assumes a granular form. It drifts against skirting boards;
banks in unfrequented hollows; snags in spiders’ webs.
- 18 Folgate Street