Poetry Notes and Jottings contains poems written by Martin Porter, together with background notes to support the poems and occasional generalities. The header image shows sunset at Geikie Gorge, Australia, October 2016.
Martin Porter was born and brought up in St Helier, Jersey. He started writing verse while in primary school and developed a love of poetry during his secondary school years. His interest in science took him overseas to study at the Universities of London (Queen Mary College) and Leeds, where he pursued his interest in astronomy, eventually specialising in ultra-high energy cosmic radiation.
He returned to his old school, Hautlieu, in Jersey to teach physics in the science department for 19 years before illness led to his resignation. During this time he contributed poems to the occasional school publication “High Places”. After a six month break he returned to working life, becoming the IT trainer at Jersey Health and Social Services. On leaving Jersey, he spent six months in St Heliers, Auckland before moving to the winterless North of New Zealand and settling in Whangarei, where he also worked as an IT trainer.
Together with Linda Rose Parkes and the late Alan Jones, Martin was a founder member of a long-lasting (15 year) innominate writing group in Jersey, the Fast Fibres meeting in Whangarei, New Zealand and the “Heather View” group, meeting in Jersey. He currently leads two writing workshops in Whangarei.
An occasional blogger, performer and experienced lecturer, Martin has been published internationally, recently being included in 100 Voices, a collection of poetry commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. He has been a judge and prize winner in several of the Whangarei Library annual flash fiction competitions and won the poetry prize in the Channel Islands Writers Competition in 2005. He currently sits on the New Zealand National Flash Fiction Competition committee.
Martin is co-editor of “Fast Fibres”, a chapbook of poems written by Northland poets. He has been a judge for the Whangarei Library annual flash fiction competition. He sits on the New Zealand National Flash Fiction Day committee.
Martin’s writing is often informed by his scientific background. He takes delight in the similarities between poetry and scientific expression, where sophisticated concepts can be condensed and expressed with elegance. He enjoys reading across a wide range of subjects and authors. Ted Hughes, T S Eliot, W G Sebald, Michael Leunig and the Book of Common Prayer are current favourites among many others.
Martin is an extensive listener of popular music and the spoken word, tunes into BBC radio and takes great enjoyment from old and new episodes of “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue”. He recalls performances of Sophocle’s three Theban plays performed in one day at the RSC, Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” at the Bastille and David Hockney’s exhibition “A Bigger Picture” at the Royal Academy of Arts as notable highlights. He also took great delight at viewing the total solar eclipse from the Great Barrier Reef in 2012. Most recently, he visited Wolf Creek crater, the Henbury craters and Gosses Bluff, crossing the Tanami desert en route.