Bewildering Stories biography
Stephen Ellams’ literary career began as a singer-songwriter and lyricist for the Sheffield-based alternative rock band The Rachael House. In spite of some record industry interest, a number of personnel changes and the failure to secure a recording deal resulted in the band being disbanded in 2007.
Following a lengthy creative sabbatical, during which he trained to be a teacher, Stephen began writing poetry. When questioned about this progression, he recalls:
‘For me, writing poetry was merely an extension of my song lyricism, without some of the constraints of musical intonation.’ He goes on to surmise, ‘As with painting or sculpturing, it (poetry) is a solo pursuit, the main benefit of which is that you don’t have to compromise with other personalities or opinions. It is also, arguably, the purest of all art forms, as there is simply no money in it!’
When asked ‘Why poetry?’ he replied:
“Words have always been important to me. To paraphrase my favourite song-lyricist, Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers, it seems to me that we are currently ‘living in an age of diminishing words’. I, and others like me, seek simply to curb, and possibly even help reverse this trend through meaningful artistic literary expression.”
No stranger to controversy, his first self-published pamphlet, ‘The King of Sardonic’ caused quite a stir, resulting in a highly-charged plethora of both positive and negative comments and reactions from across the local poetic community. Stephen later responded by stating:
“Sadly, some of those poems were wildly misconstrued by far too many people, mostly with their own gender-related axe to grind. They were nothing more than a grief-stricken outpouring of emotion — a catharsis, if you like, merely reflecting how I felt at a particular moment in time. They most certainly do not, nor ever did, define me as a person.”
Following the controversy, Stephen withdrew from the Sheffield poetry scene, making only rare appearances at open-microphone nights. Instead, he focused his attention on creating “a more eclectic body of work”. All his poems published in Bewildering Stories belong to this new body of work. His ambition is to become a regularly published poet and to explore and hopefully better understand the meanings of love.
Copyright © 2013 by Sophie Lazarus
on behalf of Stephen Ellams