Tom Mallender is a poet and documentarian specializing in the use of archive and found material. When not copying down bits of interesting graffiti, signage or overheard conversation he can be found indulging in many of the vices of a self-proclaimed geek and not writing in the 3rd person.
Tom Mallender was born in rural Derbyshire and grew up on a farm on the borders ofDerbyshire, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. Depending on where you stood in a field dictated as to what county you were within.
The son of a blacksmith Tom's formative years were somewhat unique for a child of the 1980's. At just over three he was declared the "youngest farrier in the world!" after being photographed assisting in the shoeing of a horse.
The family farm did not get its first tractor until 1994, a Ferguson TE20 made in 1950, until then everything was done via horse and cart or by hand. The pre-Edwardian level of technology on hand instilled a interest and fascination with history as well as a personal connection to many of the remembrances recorded in the diaries of the Georgian and Victorian era detailing as they did with events and activities ingrained into his own life.
With little left in way of employment opportunities at the turn of the millennium given the desolation of local industry he found work as both a butcher and baker, a candlestick maker, blacksmith, milkman, coalman, stockman, dairyman and shepherd. Derbyshire had little in the way of prospects and stuck in a real world job for far too many hours a week he chose to change the direction of his life and moved to London to study creative writing and psychology.
After graduating from Roehampton University with a specialisation in found poetry Tom gained experience and training volunteering for several years at poetry events ran by Spread the Word and Apples & Snakes and has been working as a workshop facilitator in creative writing and poetry since 2010.
He runs both one day and multipart workshops for all ages and abilities specialising in working with people disenfranchised from wider society. This work has been supported using public funding by the Arts Council England via the Grants for the Arts and the National Lottery and seen him working and deliver work with organisations such as ; Spread the Word, Age UK Islington, Claremont Centre, Holy Cross Centre Trust , Iranian Association, Response Community Project, New Unity, Mind in Camden, Queen's Crescent Community Association and Gospel Oak Action Link.
ReddyVar Katzy is a graduate of the London Collage of Fashion and works as a mixed media artist and photographer. Despite being a fan of almost all things alternative she can be found at her most content sitting down for a chat with a good cup of tea.