Thank you for visiting my website. I live in North Devon and play a full part in my community. I became a parish councillor in Swimbridge in 2019 and am currently chair of the planning committee and leader of the Riverbank Project in our Parklands. I am also chair of the North Devon Green Party and won a seat on North Devon Council (NDC) in the election held on 4 May 2023. I serve on several NDC committees, including Planning, and chair the advisory board of the excellent Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon. I am a member of the North Devon & Torridge Cultural Partnership Board and chair the North Devon Palestine Solidarity Campaign, am Secretary of the Friends of St James Church, Swimbridge, and Coordinator of the North Devon Stanza of the Poetry Society. I am an activist with XRND – Extinction Rebellion North Devon – because I am appalled by government inaction on the Climate Crisis. My wife and I helped steward the largest XR gathering yet, held in London in April 2023: disruption to the public was kept to a minimum and no arrests were made. Do check us out on Facebook or Instagram, plus the parent organisation XR. Please use the Contact button if you’d like info on any of the organisations I am involved with.
A collection of my poems, written mainly since 2005, was published on 1 October 2022 by Dempsey & Windle. It is titled, after my poem about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Thermobaric Playground.
The cover image is copyright Tessa Traeger – a Song Thrush egg from the series inspired by the Victorian birds’ egg collection she inherited. Fiona Benson, Mark Cocker and Michael Morpurgo have written most generous texts for the back cover. The book is 120 pages long and is in four sections – Habitat, The Headlined World, For the Birds and Presences. It has been wonderful working with Janice Dempsey. A Zoom launch was held on 10 October 2022. You can access a recording, read more about the book and also order it via my page on the Dempsey & Windle website.
My poem ‘Meeting Mr Lowry’ (in the book) appeared in issue 270 (March-April 2023) of PN Review. ‘W81’ appeared in a special ‘Museum pieces’ issue of Riptide magazine edited by Rob Magnuson Smith and Andy Brown in 2023. I will be reading my poem ‘St Mark’s Flies’ in a podcast from the Ted Hughes Society early in 2024.
News of readings I am due to give appear on my Facebook page.
Brief bio: Mark Haworth-Booth studied English Literature at Cambridge University and Art History at Edinburgh University. He served as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) from 1970-2004 and, as senior curator of photographs, helped to build up its great collection of photography. He is now an Honorary Research Fellow at the V&A and a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art. He has curated many exhibitions and acted as a consultant on the BBC’s award- winning television series The Genius of Photography (2007 and aired occasionally thereafter). He curated, with Jeu de Paume, Paris and the National Portrait Gallery in London, a centenary retrospective of the pioneering photographer Camille Silvy (1834-1910), shown at the National Portrait Gallery in 2010. Mark researched the Silvy exhibition catalogue at the J. Paul Getty Museum as a Museum Scholar in 2008. Published in UK, French and US editions, this was the third of Mark’s books to be highly commended in photographic book awards.
Mark served as the first Visiting Professor of Photography at the University of the Arts London, 2002-09. In 2005 he was appointed OBE for services to museums. He became an Honorary Doctor of Arts of the University of the Arts London in 2012. He completed a creative writing MA (with Distinction) at Exeter University in 2015.
Mark and his wife Rosie moved to North Devon in autumn 2009 to write and garden. He retired from most photo history activity at the end of 2010. However, he contributed a V&A Blog on the late Chris Killip on 30 October 2020. He edited A Photographic Friendship on Chris Chapman and James Ravilious, published by Skerryvore in October 2022.