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This month’s featured poet is: Raymond Fenech

Ray Fenech was born in the small fishing village of St. Julian's, Malta and embarked on his writing career when he was still in his early teens. He freelanced for two major political papers, Il-Mument and In-Nazzjon and between 1980-85 worked as a journalist with Malta's leading newspaper, The Times.

Since then he has always worked in the media field carrying out public relations work for several leading companies and between 1999 and 2001 edited two nation-wide distributed magazines, Living 2000 and The Globe Trotter. Now, he runs his own business in copywriting, PR and advertising.

While many of us are working on our next poem, Ray has been fighting cancer since Winter 2004. He says, "The symptoms only became apparent in September after some very long painful tests. I was in hopsital for almost two weeks and had to have a small operation, a biopsy. Unfortunately Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed and I had to undertake chemo therapy. I started in November and I have just completed my last session. There is no 100% certainty that it will go away but we got it in the first stages and there is a good chance of complete cure. That is what the doctors keep telling me."

In his own words, "Chemo is a devastating medicine. I am dizzy and tired, so it's difficult for me to do anything at the moment. Even reading is difficult and I have never watched so many DVDs in my whole life."

Ray has published poems, essays, short stories and articles in Malta, Sicily, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. Some of his research on ghost stories were recently published in The International Directory of the Most Haunted Places by Penguin Books in the USA. Ray writes in a language everyone can understand, without mincing words or losing his way in philosophical and poetic techniques, too academic for the majority reader. He believes what Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway believed that the most important equipment for a writer is "a built-in, shock-proof shit detector".


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