Name - Richard Raftery

Also known as
- Raftery the Poet; The Viscount of Verse; The Razor-tongued Bard:

Likes - beer (esp. Black Sheep and Tetleys), curry, Doc Martens, red wine, a nice cup of tea, olive oil, natural fibres, an alluring d├ęcolletage, zoot suits, being in the EU.

- vol-au-vents, portable phones, nouvelle cuisine, lager, programmes about antiques, cardigans, baseball hats, wire coat hangers, sticky labels which can be extremely difficult to remove; this annoying trend of flashing up credits at great speed with split screen at end of television programmes ; self-service checkouts, minuscule font on products so you struggle to read what is contained therein; Brenda from Bristol; This Tory government (or "Coalition of Chaos" if you prefer.)

Most tiresome habits
- reciting the famous taxi scene from On the Waterfront; saying 'Aaarghh me leg!'; walking back to my car to check that I have locked it.

Influences -Alan Bennett, Morrissey; Paul Whitehouse; Beryl Cook; Father Ted; Richmal Crompton; (Just William), Jimmy Clitheroe; Ken Dodd.

Most over-used words or phrases - skeletal confidante; vouchsafe; it's all happening; juxtapose:

Controversial Ideas - (1) Save the red squirrel by eating all the grey ones. (2) Ban all TV programmes with the word celebrity in the title. (3) Give generous tax concessions to people who don't pave over front gardens thus reducing the likelihood of flooding and allowing wildlife (inc. red squirrels) to flourish

Controversial Opinions - (1) Was the financial crisis engineered in order to allow the 'outsourcers' and free marketeers (i.e. champions of unfettered capitalism) to justify the dismantling of welfare states and public sectors in western countries, thereby allowing the carpetbaggers to move in and take what they want. The result is always much the same - a handful of people become even wealthier whilst wages for the majority tumble, prices rise and unemployment soars. (2) Scares are a useful money-making racket. Remember the 'millennium bug' - a non-existent threats. Billions were spent on Tami-flu which was apparently ineffective and unused.

Listens to - Nick Drake, Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Divine Comedy, REM, Gene Vincent, Echo and the Bunnymen, Hank Williams, Powder Keg, Smokestack, Merle Haggard, Lindi Ortega, Rhonda Vincent (phenomenal bluegrass mandolin player and singer) and lots of others as well.

Favourite Films - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Little Dieter Loves To Fly, Body And Soul, The Dead, Witch-finder General: Pan's Labyrinth, Billy Liar.

Lifelong Task - for thirty-eight years I have been working on my novel -The Return Of The Black Magician - a 'comic, political-horror tale'. Currently working closely with talented young illustrator (Lorna Johnstone) who is creatively 'fleshing out' main characters in unique style. (See also novel page - under profile link at top.)

Poetical Matters - to keep on ploughing the poetical furrow. Recent appearances include the Headingley Festival and Wicked Words. Regular guest on Radio Leeds. See shop for details of publications.

Thought for the week -

The moon does not heed the barking of dogs.