Martin Figura is a poet, teacher, retired army major, qualified accountant and photographer. He's a proud member of the Joy of Six, with whom he has performed from New York to Cromer since 2000. He's also proud to be an Apples & Snakes associate artist and they produced his show, Whistle, which received major Arts Council Lottery Fund Awards in 2010 and was shortlisted for Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. It won the 2013 Saboteur Best Spoken Word Show Award. Based on his poetry collection of the same name, Whistle deals with the impact on Figura's family of his father murdering his mother when he was a child. His poem 'Victor' won the Poetry Society's 2010 Hamish Canham Prize. In 2013 Nasty Little Press published the pamphlet Arthur, a narrative sequence resulting form a commission with the artist Caroline Wright.
Praise for Martin Figura's Work:
Of all the books of poetry I've read this year, Whistle is the one that haunts me most. It touches a place within you that will never heal. You push it away like a ghost. You pull it towards you in memory.
David Morley, reviewing Whistle in Magma
Figura, keeping his nerve, guides us through a limbo of shifting and shadowed memories, through places where the encroaching Furies rampage, out into the clarity of comprehension and forgiveness, where it is possible for him, and for us, to claim life's paradoxical riches.
Penny Shuttle, reviewing Whistle in Ink, Seat and Tears
Exercising a humanising restraint, delicately balanced, these poems are an attempt to excise memory, to fill in some of the missing gaps, but the sense one is left with most of all is absence and loss. Moving, brave unsentimental &ellip;
Jackie Kay on Whistle
Martin Figura has a strong stage presence. His subject matter is so challenging it makes the audience gasp. In spite of this, he engages the listener with warmth and humour. Pitch perfect, he knows his lines and knows how to deliver them. You will be entertained and moved in equal measure.
Patience Agbabi on Whistle
Sensitive, sad, and in places arresting. Thoroughly recommended.
Richard O'Brien reviewing Arthur in Poetry London