Alyson Torns' most recent publication is 'From The Lost Property Office: A Quartet for Pessoa' (Hearing Eye, 2006). In addition she has had a pamphlet called 'extracts from Unresolved Journey' published by 'not your average type' in 2011. Alyson has had poems published in the following magazines: Otolith, Past Simple, Great Works, Veer Off, Poetry Salzburg review, Poetry London, The Interpreter’s House, Fire, The Wolf, Neon Highway, Hanging Johnny, Dusie and Tears in the Fence.
Alyson has had paintings shown in the Pallant Gallery 2009 exhibition, a painting in the Kings Place Guardian Gallery 2011, and was included in the Museum of Everything#2 book, published in 2010. She has also had paintings on 'the outside in' and 'the other side' gallery websites. She works as a tennis coach.
Poet, tennis coach, tai chi fanatic and teacher - there cannot be too many people like Alyson Torns.
'From The Lost Property Office' was Alyson's first published collection of poetry, published by Hearing Eye. More than six years in the making, the poems are homage to the Portuguese poet, Pessoa. In her book, Alyson has created four heteronyms- four female characters each with their own unique identity and particular characteristics.
"I have to capture whole scenes into a nugget," Alyson said, speaking from Glyn's Café in her native Bushey Heath.
"I try to see for the first time, like children do. Adults lose that way of seeing for the first time, through whatever has happened to them. But seeing for the first time is the essence of poetry.
"For me, poetry is the everyday experience. It's a concoction. You cannot define it and you never will. That's the beauty of it.
"When you read it, you might not understand it, but that doesn't matter."
Alyson's dream is to take poetry out of the stuffy confines of academia and bring it to people, young and old, who have had little or no experience of it. She has already sold many of her books to people who are not poets, and this means a lot to her.
"That's my motivation - to break the mould," she said. “I want to set my sights high."
Alyson, who has a first-class degree in creative writing from the University of Luton, describes herself as a teacher. Whether that be poetry, tennis, tai chi or life, that is up to the person she is with at the time.
"Teaching is so important for me," Alyson said, getting into her flow. “To teach and to help people in life. The essence of making people grow is what I'm about."
Watford Observer July 16th 2006
- Star sign: Leo
- Inspirations: Samuel Beckett
- Favourite books: The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, Selected Poems - Yannis Ritsos
- Favourite film: It's a Wonderful Life
- Favourite car: Hyundai
- Favourite food: Italian
- Favourite places: Portugal, Art Galleries
- Favourite things: My poetry, Art, My friendships
- Biggest challenge: To gain more humility
- Thing I've learned: Franz Kafka - 'A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us'