Newport author, 81, releases 'first and last' poetry collection

A blue book with the text: "Uneven Ground". In the background: Saffron Walden Market Square.

David Thear drew inspiration from Uttlesford landmarks. He commissioned Saffron Walden graphic designer Clare Webber to format the book - Credit: Archant

A retired journalist from Newport has released his "first and last" poetry collection - a keepsake for his children.

David Thear, 81, began writing poetry nearly 10 years ago after the death of his wife, Katie.

His collection Uneven Ground is a showcase of poems written in Saffron Walden - a town which he described as "magical" - and beyond.

David said: "Poetry became a form of writing therapy for me, I suppose.

"I'm 81, so this is my first and last poetry collection.

"It is something to leave behind to my family."

David's poetry collection is his second published book since his wife, Katie, died in 2010.

His first was a 2018 thriller - Finding April - about a girl who goes missing in 1959 and wakes up in a different world 40 years later.

David Thear, author of Finding April.

David Thear worked in publishing, but forayed into fiction for the first time in 2018 - Credit: Archant

David previously worked in publishing. He founded a self-sufficiency magazine - now known as Country Smallholding - in 1975, which he sold to Archant - publisher of the Saffron Walden Reporter - in 2001.

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He helped his wife write her only novel - Hearing the Grass Grow - in 2008 before taking a long break from publishing.

With Uneven Ground, David has drawn inspiration from real-life observations from his Newport home, memories from growing up in Hastings, and from Spain, where he and Katie had a small house.

His collection begins with a look at Costa Coffee, inspired by the now-closed store in King Street, Saffron Walden.

Uneven Ground explores themes of memory and feeling left behind, touring nearby landmarks such as Howe Wood, Frambury Lane in Newport, Liverpool Street Station and Trumpington Car Park, Cambridge.

David said: "Saffron Walden is a real source of inspiration. It's a magical place.

"Going there on a Saturday morning to the market - It's an experience that you can't find anywhere else.

"It's hard to describe."

David has written more than 120 poems, and his son chose 59 for the collection.

"I'm writing the story of my life for my grandchildren next," David said.

Uneven Ground (Clavering Press) was released on June 25. It stocked in Hart's Books and listed on Amazon.

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