We met after the wedding, as he photographed a particular gate there at the church. He told me the story of the place where he and his wife were married, and how the gate reminded him of it.
I mentioned that he reminded me of someone.
He suggested James Joyce.
I said, 'Maybe', as I rummaged round in my memory for images of Joyce.
It turns out, everyone else said he was Elton John ... 20 years ago. I didn't really look at Elton then but perhaps. There is a story about a carriage full of people on the Tube, or a train, thinking precisely that about him.
You can decide.
But perhaps he is simply one of those people who allow you to feel like you've known him a long time, and you respond to that.
On the day after the wedding, I wandered over to his website, and found this poem. I love it.
An extract, from Out of Shape Sonnet:
This is one of those tuneless songs of hope
A father scatters out into the universe
Because he wants the best for his child;
Success of the non-material kind,
And, above all, happiness,
Happiness of the forever kind.
I read enough, between processing the wedding photographs, to know I'll find my own copy now that I'm back in the UK. I reached that point where the father and son have just begun their journey ...
His book, Dead Men, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. It's another to hunt down, sooner or later.
Washington Independent Review of Books, 18 June 2012
Who said literary works tend to be boring? This debut novel by Richard Pierce proves a poetically written narrative can also be riveting and engrossing.
This is not a lengthy novel and the author uses every word, sentence and verbal image to craft and layer his themes. This is a love story, a historical novel, a polar expedition and a ghostly tale. From an initial improbability, page after page draws the reader in. As the author’s first effort at full-length fiction, it is a notable success. I highly recommend this novel.
You can read more on his website.
I met this man, and his wife, at the wedding and they are, so very kindly, allowing me to use the photographs I took of them.
Richard Pierce was born in Doncaster in 1960.
He was educated in Germany, and at the University of Cambridge.
He now lives in Suffolk with Marianne and their four children.
Richard is a novelist, poet and painter, and administers two charities