Stephen Woodward, also known as Sam Woodward of Love Poems by Sam. One of the more recent arrivals to Tauranga, Sam is immediately immersing himself in the creative writing community. Sam writes “love poems and erotic verse”. Not the harsh, hard expose of hip hop sexuality but in gentle, paragraphed phrases, and words, resonant of emotions of an earlier poetic time.
Sam had discovered ARTbop through an online contact in Greece who is a friend of a sculptor about whom Tim Peck has contributed an article. Jenny Argante the Chair of Tauranga Writers Incorporated suggested I meet with Sam: it’s once more to Grindz in First Avenue
It takes a while for people to reveal the layers of their lives and display their gifts, talents and personal resources. It’s only in a conversation about something unrelated to poetry that Sam Woodward discloses that he has a background in printing, graphics and advertising: perhaps because at this plateau of his life he wishes to be seen and valued as a poet. Ironically it’s our similar professional knowledge and backgrounds that has Sam and I standing in the street outside Creative Tauranga laughing and chatting:about the respective occasions we were locked (for a lengthy period of time) in the dungeon like cells of a since disbanded South Auckland Court. But enough of that.
Since coming to share his life with his immediate family, Sam has joined Tauranga Writers and also participated in a poetry workshop organised by The Incubator. A practising Buddhist Sam has found an inspirational Tauranga based teacher. A self-published poet, Sam has his own website www.poems-by-sam.com and on that site is his own, very personal biographical statement some of which is reproduced here:
“Sam the poet
Sam is my pseudonym, a nickname I prefer to be called. It belongs to a romantic character in a love story I began writing a long time ago, before the Love poetry came into being.
It all started about 20 years ago, with the writing of a few poems for friends, this became a small collection of poems which I used to printout and give to others who liked what I’d penned. As I continued to write, it was to become a series of love poems, a Diary, written for a very special woman with whom I truly loved. We grew together in so many ways, and our spiritual paths joined and lead us on a journey of self discovery. I don’t fully understand to this day why we could not manage the events that pulled us apart, it’s incredibly sad, and is reflected in the last poems.
I was told later by a close friend that I should publish it. So after much contemplation I decided to self publish, and obtained the required ISBN number and sent two copies to the National Library. The Hocken Library purchased a copy which was a nice achievement.
I continued to write, all but infrequently, and some years passed as I completed my second book of poems. This second book I feel continues as the first, the love poems imagined, or about how I felt at the time of writing; what love is, and what it meant to me. It has not been published, and remains in PDF format.
Now, I have just completed my third book. It’s unexplainable; Inconceivable! is maybe a better word to use when it comes to try and understand, why my life’s journey had brought me here again, through an amazing loving experience to another tragedy. It contains I feel some of my best love poems, spiritual poems and several short stories, with an index of my thoughts about life as it is for me.
Dramatically at its end I came to a place of understanding the true meaning of unconditional love. Without exception, to accept others as they are and I wish to do with grace and wisdom.
This third book I have in PDF format and offer it for free to anyone interested for a limited period of time as I now plan to self-publish this collection too.
Since my twenties I have been interested in the teachings of Zen masters, and those still alive today, like Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist from Vietnam. Thich is respected throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment-the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
Since moving to Tauranga, I have found an extraordinary Buddhist teacher, Tarchin Hearn, and attend his group meditation and teachings
Now in faithfulness and with wisdom, I’m inclined to say, all I hope for, is for openness and everyone in this world to love each other, to forgive, and forgive with understanding… Sam Woodward, Love Poems by Sam”
ARTbop has previously published original poetry. If you would like to submit original poetry for publication, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org in docx format for the attention of Sam Woodward, ARTbop poetry editor. We also welcome a brief biographical statement to accompany published work and if possible a jpg photo image. Our WordPress website prefers restricted size images.
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.