Thirty-two years after being encouraged to release his poems, Mohamed Saloo has published his first books to coincide with his 50th birthday.
Mohamed said: “As a student at Huddersfield Technical College, I used to scribble poems whilst sat with friends, often allowing them to read what I had written.
"Friends encouraged me to release a collection of poetry. But whilst I did put a collection together it never went further."
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Batley Lad shares poems about buildings, people and the poet who grew up surrounded by them in his hometown.
Mohamed said: “Since 2012 I’ve written poems about Batley and the volunteers who make a difference.
"I thought it was fitting to release these in my first book, along with poems that reflect some challenges and incidents I’ve faced in my life.”
The book title is taken from one of Mohamed’s most popular poems, My Batley, which is featured in the book.
His second book, Loss - A voice of the grieving, explores the emotions and turmoil battling inside a person experiencing grief.
Written from a personal perspective, Mohamed said: “Through poetry we deal with that which we struggle to say. This book explores those thoughts and feelings.”
It was at a poetry reading during the Batley Festival in 2012 that Mohamed first read his poetry to an audience in the town's iconic library.
From there the journey began which has seen the poet maintain an affection for the library, which also features in the book, and has led to a number of poetry projects following the formation of Batley Poets.
Mohamed said: “The support I’ve had since 2012 has grown my confidence and the sense of having a right to release a poetry collection.
"I had always said I wrote poetry, but I refused to call myself a poet, feeling that title was too mighty for my simple words.
"I suppose this held me back, but since 2012 my performances slowly grew the confidence I needed to admit I am a poet and finally reach my teenage dream.
“My wish is that readers can connect with the poems and be inspired by them.
"I would love to be the reason that inspires someone to share their poetry and hold on to their dreams.”
The books are released through Batley Poets and are available at https://mohamedsaloo.wordpress.com/books as well as from Waterstones.