Steve Nash

WINNER

Sabotage Best Spoken Word Performer 2014

Steve Nash is a stateless pirate.

Well, child of the army, which amounts to pretty much the same thing. Couple that with a stint as the founding member,  lead singer and sometimes-guitarist for hard rock band Herbal T and Pornography, and what you’ve got is a character shaped by songs and seasons, who knows how to live out of one bag and the back of a van and calls nowhere and everywhere home.

Momentarily born in Ripon, from 1982 Steve and his family lived on army bases in Chepstow, Aldershot and Rochester, Harsewinkel and Avenwedde in Germany, then Gravesend before ‘settling’ in Chesterfield in 1993.

In his teens and early twenties Steve was mostly on the road with various punk outfits, before arriving in York – the place he would probably call most like home – and setting up Herbal T, with whom he gigged at city venues Fibbers and City Screen, and recorded an EP with an EMI sound engineer.

You can never shake the nomad completely, and Steve’s Bedouin tendencies are often referred back to in his writing, with poems like Splintered Tongue and Straight Outta Ripon pointing to these earlier, formative times as ones still moulding his movements today.

Steve Nash puts the ‘kool’ in ‘skool’. Or, ‘higher education’.

Steve is currently adding the finishing touches to his Literature Ph.D (recovering a female author) at York St John University, where he also undertook his Joint Honours BA in English Literature and QTS Primary Teaching (2005), and his MA in Literature Studies (2008). He has been variously employed at YSJ, as a teaching assistant in several departments, visiting lecturer on the undergraduate literature degree, course leader for the Converge programme, and most recently as a full-time lecturer on various modules including creative writing. He now has an office with a phone line and everything. His research has been presented across the UK and abroad at academic conferences and symposiums. Steve’s innovative teaching style is infamous within the department (crocodile outfits have been cracked out on more than one occasion). Students love him.  

Steve Nash is a rock poet.

Steve’s poetry traverses the full spectrum of technique, meaning and experience, as this first collection clearly demonstrates. Working equally effectively within strict forms and without them, Steve balances life’s tensions between the comic and the tragic, the everyday and the bizarre, the mundane and the aesthetic, the painfully personal and the universally public realms of our modern existences – sometimes within one, quick, turn-on-the-heel of a single stanza. Lyrically-grounded, such poems as A Bed of Bright Ashes and January 22nd pay their dues to Steve’s musical background, while the stark contrasts between others, like the playful and oft-requested Hutch and the gut-wrenching Opsimath suggest a wealth of literary influences as disparate as Roald Dahl (his more evil works), Don Paterson, Stephen Dunn and Pablo Neruda, as well as engaging with emotional mindsets both past and present, layered seamlessly and honestly together. Taking the Long Way Home is peppered throughout with personal tributes, both commissioned and volunteered, and several pieces document Steve’s adult struggle with his own health issues – an undiagnosed imbalance of electrical activity in the brain. Poems like Eletriptan and Meantime Hospital explicitly engage with the episodes of hospital admission for temporary blindness, seizures, and aphasia over the last several years. 

His work has been published in various magazines including: London Grip, Ouroboros Review, Read This Magazine, Reflection's Edge, ditch., The Cartier Street Review, IMPpress, Word Salad, Haiku Ramblings, Smoke, SparkBright, Desperately Seeking Alex and the Poetry Warrior.

And anthologised by: Stairwell Books, Carillon, the Ilkley Literature Festival, and the Grist Anthology of the best poetry of 2012.

Steve is regularly sought out for his performances (sometimes with his guitar, sometimes not), and came a close second at the first York Poetry Slam. You also may have seen him live at the Ted Hughes Literature Festival, York 800, the Festival of Rivers, the Stanza Stones live performance (supporting Simon Armitage) or at various editions of Harrogate’s Poems, Prose and Pints as guest speaker.

Steve is also the poetry editor for Open Wide Magazine and Indigo Rising UK.

Steve Nash is a vampire/vampire method actor.

Steve is famous in Turkey for being that guy out of Twilight. He was once mistaken for Robert Pattinson/Edward Cullen as he walked through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, and has done nothing since to set the record straight. Steve keeps unsociable hours bordering on the nocturnal and even if you’ve sat down to dinner with him on countless occasions, if you try to remember a time when you’ve actually seen him eat you won’t be able to. He  wears shades a lot and his possession of a working reflection is debatable.

Steve Nash is NOT a professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers.

You need to be more specific with your Google search terms. His creative work and miscellaneous ramblings can be found online at: http://starlighttocasualmoths.blogspot.com. His academic profile is at: http://yorksj.academia.edu/SteveNash. He also writes regularly for the online-and-print alternative music magazine Soundsphere (http://www.soundspheremag.com).

Steve lives in Sowerby Bridge (which I’m told is a real place somewhere in West Yorkshire ).  He has two guinea pigs, which look like angry toupés with teeth and about which Steve gets fiercely defensive.

 Amy Audebert

 

Taking the Long Way Home Front Cover reduced

Taking the Long Way Home is the work of a poet who has led the nomadic life familiar to anyone with parents in the military. Friends become precious and their loss is keenly felt. With an electrical malfunction in his brain, Steve's own life becomes equally precious and must be lived to its full potential. These poems provide us with a window into a uniquely thrilling world.

The book is illustrated with razor sharp perception by Malin Bergström who has the privilege of being one of those treasured friends.

Steve's poems have been widely published, deservedly so. In these pages favourites and fresh new pieces are brought together into a single spine-chilling first collection.

Reviews:
One and Other, June 2013: “Taking the Long Way Home is the work of a rare artist with a fire in his head, but it is also an important addition to poetry in the English language. It is cutting edge without being pompous, it is technically brilliant whilst remaining accessible, it’s intelligent without being pretentious. In short it is one of the finest first collections I’ve ever encountered and it deserves your time and attention.” - Roger Carsley

Soundsphere: “after reading Steve’s collection of poetry those who disliked, hated or felt general apathy towards poetry will be transformed and converted.” - Olivia Widdup