British poet Mark A. Murphy was born in West Yorkshire in 1969, where he studied Philosophy, Sociology, History, Politics and Poetry in Huddersfield. He first attended poetry workshops in 1986 and read with the Albert Poets in and around Yorkshire in the early 1990s. Murphy saw a chapbook of his poetry published in Huddersfield in 1996 but lapsed into alcoholism, depression and anxiety the following decade. He didn’t start writing poetry again until 2005 but suffered from serious health problems in 2007 and 2016, which limited his literary output to one chapbook and a small number of poetry compilations. At the moment Murphy is chief editor of the online poetry journal POETICA REVIEW. Murphy’s series of poems Sea Wake is a tribute to his countryman Milner Place, who died in 2020. Moloko+ has published these poems as a risographed chapbook and has added four of Milner Place’s last poems to this edition.
Milner Place started writing poetry at the age of 43 in 1973 to divert his attention from a novel that he was struggling with to finish. The novel would never see the light of day. Instead, Place would become better-known for his poems than for his prose. His poetry was published by various established presses, of which Moloko Plus is one. Milner Place was born in North Yorkshire, England in 1930. After having briefly followed an agricultural study Place led the family farm and worked as a forester and bartender. From the age of 23, when Place left for South Africa, much of his eventful life was spent at sea until he settled down in Huddersfield in 1987. Place captained various yachts and ships for 11 years, was involved in smuggling during the Algerian War and raced the Count of Barcelona across the Atlantic. His early poems were written in Spanish but since his return to the UK, Place has written his poems in English. Place died in Huddersfield in 2020.