“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.”
With Halloween around the corner what better way to start than with a quote from the great writer and poet, Edgar Allan Poe. A literary figure who has inspired and fascinated me since I was young and is in some part responsible for my own love of literacy and poetry. A love that, through various winding routes and coincidental meetings led me to discover the fascinating and wildly entertaining work of Richard Harries.
I caught up with Richard recently to discuss writing, poetry and the arts in Hull as well as his own path, from his days in the police force to becoming one of Hull’s most enigmatic poets.
Richard Harries is a poet who is hard to forget once you have met him and heard him read. Equally adept at comedy and children’s poetry as he is at writing thought provoking and emotive work, he describes the ‘Vibrant and unique mix of poets who support one another without rivalry.’ as the primary reason he enjoys performing in the city.
As we talk over a coffee and discuss the growing number of venues across Hull that play host to poetry readings and performances there is a feeling that Richard is constantly formulating ideas and playing with words for his next piece of work. It’s refreshing to see someone who is clearly doing something they enjoy immensity, but does not quite realise just how good they are at doing it.
Over the last few years Union mash Up, The Adelphi, Tiger Inn, The Old Corn Exchange and Sailmakers have all played host to Richard’s poetry. The man clearly relishes the performance side of his poetry as much as the writing itself. A rapidly growing online presence, as well as stints at Head Fest, The Filey Folk Festival, Pocklington Literacy Festival and Freedom Fest have seen his following grow considerably in recent months. The latter saw him take his place as part of the popular ‘Freedom To Tell Tales’ event.
For a man who has only actively been writing poetry for five years and performing live for less than that, his growing resume is impressive. From recent pieces written for the Wilberforce Monument Fund and the movement to save the Lord Line building through to work that has been put to music by Hull based musicians Dec Suddaby and Will Machine, it’s difficult to pin down a particular style to his writing. It can be fun, moving, in some cases it can be surprising, which inevitably means it is always worth witnessing if you get the chance.
Find more of Richard’s work on Youtube and Facebook by searching RCPoems.