Jay has been working for over 25 years now to bring more spiritual consciousness into Contemporary British Poetry - on the page and in performance.
Always a mystic, and drawn from an early age to psychology, he has created a unique synthesis between poetry and personal development, encompassing festival organization (Angels of Fire in London in the 1980’s), Chrysalis - the poet in you (his 2 part correspondence course in poetry by post,. since 1990), Chinese classic translations (Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Kuan Yin), reseaches into alchemy and the dynamics of intimate relationships (two related non-fiction titles), editing popular poetry pages for Kindred Spirit and Caduceus - and psychosynthesis, which he has been involved with since his mid 20’s, now as a UKCP registered psychotherapist in private practice. He has also done an NFSH training as a spiritual healer.
For Jay, poetry, psychology and healing are all part of ‘one Work’ for which he coined the phrase ‘the artist-healer’ as a new configuration. His belief is that the requirements of our time take us beyond mere aestheticism on the one hand, and clinical prosaic cliches on the other.
He has an enormous and still growing body of work. Despite over 30 books in print since 1985, most of it is still unpublished.
His main work is in THE GREAT RETURN, a modern epic odyssey encompassing areas of deep history, narrative, place, and memory.
He sees it in the Romantic tradition of Wordsworth, with the modernist example of Ezra Pound (his two main teachers). However, the work is unashamedly mystical and spiritual, as well as being ‘eco-centred’.
The first five books were published in London in 1988. Since then, selections have appeared in two volumes of Selected Poems - Kingdom of the Edge (Element, 1999) and Out of Time (PSAvalon, 2008). Book six and seven have been written. But most of it is still unpublished.
Portrait by Jane Tressider