Quick & Quirky Questions with Al McClimens

Al was one of the runners-up in our October 2021 Poetry Competition.

After a long and undistinguished career in the NHS and later in H.E. he took early retirement to polish his sonnets. Don Paterson has never heard of him.

He lives in Sheffield, the capital of the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire, where he plans to grow older disgracefully. He will work for food. Please give generously. His first full collection, published in 2021, ‘The Other Infidelities’ is available via Pindrop Press. You should buy it. No, seriously, it’s actually very good.


Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I’m a boy
  2. I’m Scottish
  3. I live in Sheffield
  4. I don’t tell lies

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

I’m still waiting.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Hokusai – I read somewhere that his most creative/prolific period was between the ages of 60 and 89.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

My wallet.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Reading and writing.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

See Question 1, part 4.

Our monthly flash theme for January is New Year, New Hobbies.

Are you taking up a new hobby, interest or project this year? If so, we’d love you to tell us about it. Our special focus this month is on photography as a new project, so please either send us a recent photograph you’ve taken as part of a new photography hobby, or send us a flash submission (350 words or less) telling us about your new hobby or venture with an accompanying photo. The flash submission can take the form of a poem, short memoir, anecdote or story, but MUST be accompanied by a relevant photo.

Entries are free and close at midnight on January 31st and we’ll choose our favourites from the submissions in early February. The winner will receive a copy of the Poetry of Entanglement book produced by our January bloggers, Tom Langlands and Marianna Armatta, and the runner-up will receive a Poetry Of Entanglement calendar.

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