Julian Flanagan

Julian Flanagan, second left, at Stanza Bonanza at the Poetry Cafe, 2016 - with members of the Barnes/Chiswick and Harrow Stanzas
Julian Flanagan, back row/second left, at Stanza Bonanza at the Poetry Cafe, 2016 – with members of the Barnes/Chiswick and Harrow Stanzas

We are sad to report that Poetry Society Member Julian Flanagan passed away in August. Julian was such a lovely man and a regular at the [email protected] open mic sessions at The Poetry Society’s Poetry Cafe. He was also a member of the Barnes & Chiswick Stanza.

“The last email I received from Julian was in June saying he probably wouldn’t be able to make the next Stanza meeting. He asked me to keep him posted saying, “I greatly enjoy being a member and, being selfish, greatly benefit as a poet. But my membership will probably be more in spirit than body from now on.” When, in August, his wife Caroline emailed to say that Julian had died, I was devastated, we all were; we loved Julian – friendly, diffident, charming, his vivid, tender, beautiful poems, and we valued his constructive, perceptive feedback. Every spring the Barnes and Chiswick Stanza give a public poetry reading, Julian, helped by his wife, bravely made it to the last one, in May, and read some of his stunning poems (see photo below) – this, sadly, was the last time we saw him. Julian has a second collection of poetry coming out soon; he will live on in our memories, and in his work.”

Dino Mahoney: Rep. Barnes and Chiswick Stanza

Julian performing
Julian performing at the annual Barnes and Chiswick get-together, May 2018

Julian was a freelance journalist and his writing appeared in The FT Weekend, Times, Time Out, Daily Telegraph and economist.com. Julian’s poems appeared in Ambit, Envoi, Orbis, The Frogmore Papers, Smith’s Knoll and The Rialto, and The Spectator. His poetry collection Cooking with Cancer is published by Mica Press and is poetry served up in the form of a menu: Starters, Main Course, Afters, Digestif.

“Flecked with arresting imagery, Cooking with Cancer looks, and looks again. Matter-of-factly, it refuses to flinch.” – Mario Petrucci.

English Patient

On the parade to diagnosis,
turning through hooped scanners
and narrowing possibilities,
one idiot hope tagged along:
that I did have cancer,
that it was blood in the bowl
because if, after all the fuss,
it was only the beetroot I’d been eating,
the embarrassment could kill me.

                                                 from Cooking with Cancer

5 September 2018