About

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Photograph by Derek Ridgers

Mark’s poems have been published by Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Irish Times, MAGMA, Aesthetica, The New European, Live Canon, POEM International and many more.

A new collection Other Saints Are Available will be launched by Live Canon in May, 2021.

His first The Rainbow Factory was published by Templar Poetry in 2016 following the success of his award-winning pamphlet The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre. He is a winner of the Oxford Brookes University International Prize and the Ruskin Prize. He was placed third in the UK National Poetry Competition and runner up in both the Robert Graves Prize and the Bridport Prize with commendations in over fifty other competitions, including the Montreal International Prize.

Of his writing, leading Irish poet Thomas McCarthy had this to say:

“Mark Fiddes’ THE RAINBOW FACTORY is a wonder, a real work of art, from a poet who seems incapable of writing a bad poem. His sharpness, both linguistic and intellectual, makes his work unique, I think, and uniquely satisfying. His prize-winning ‘Ex.’ and ‘The Lost Gardens of West Norwood’ are a joy to read, both for the thought within and the technical competence, more than competence, panache, I would say, yes, technical panache. I am certain that ‘Ex.’ will become one of those poems that are continuously anthologised, rather like Betjemen’s Slough poem…This is all work in poetry of the highest calibre, and written in a voice that is rarely seen in poetry, the urbane humorist who sustains serious thought.”

He studied Philosophy at Merton College, Oxford University before leaving for Washington, D.C. to work as a journalist. He now travels between London, Dubai and Barcelona as a creative director and writer. He also runs You The Poet, an online poetry writing course which you can visit here: https://www.youthepoet.com

Some quotes:

“A punk energy and impish sense of fun suffuse this fine new collection…compressed with wit and wonder. Purchase a copy of this intelligent, immaculately tended collection and you will find yourself in the company of a tour guide at once wickedly cynical, bleakly funny and always colourful.”   Christopher James, Winner of the National Poetry Prize.

“One of my favourite titles for a poetry collection, Mark Fiddes’ The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre is expectedly full of wit and wry observation on the strata of British society. But this book reaches deeper, into moments that catch you off guard with profound, plainspoken insight into the human condition. More than a hilarious romp (though it is that as well), this slim booklet packs a wallop, leaves you teetering through the poet’s off-kilter worldview.” Robert Peake in The Huffington Post.

“..its stately movement, its resolution of all the technical problems of a period and a persona piece, and the lovely lift into something transcendent with which it ends.” Professor Fiona Sampson, poet and judge of the Ruskin Poetry Prize.

“This is intelligent, multi-layered modern poetry and should be read…clever, deep and engaging.” Rachel Stirling, writer and poetry blogger.

“Very thought-provoking. I doubt if I shall ever view Chelsea in the same light.”Alan Titchmarsh, gardener, writer, DJ.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Mark – I’ve forwarded your excellent ‘Chelsea Flower Show Massacre’ poem to my RHS Gold Medal award winning chum – and do hope you’ll be embarking on some guerilla poetry sessions at the Chelsea Fringe!

    1. Hi Michaela, this sounds great but I’ve just started working out in Dubai on a longish contract. I’m going to be here at least through the UK summer. May I get back in touch when I’m back in Europe. I’ve heard good things about Pighog. My email is fiddes01@gmail.com. Best wishes, Mark

  2. Hey Mark, I randomly came across “polite safety notice” on YouTube and it really intrigues me, what inspired you to write this? I love the style and openness of interpretation btw

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for asking. I wrote it responding the rage around Brexit and Populism largely exhibited by men – inflamed by social media. I wanted to examine this in the context of its longer term effects on young people and the environment. This was picked up by the print maker and director Aindri C in the film who made the whole animation out of recycled materials. Does that answer your question? Mark

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