About Otwituaries


I started tweeting these poetic obituaries via Twitter on the death of Ernest Borgnine in July 2012. After a while a friend asked if I would gather them together, so I have created this blog as an archive. New Otwituaries will appear here as well as being broadcast via Twitter and Facebook.


All the Otwituaries are written very quickly on the day their subjects pass away, so are clearly lacking in polish or the insight that only comes in time, but they are all from the heart. They represent the people who have, in some way, touched my life - actors, musicians, sporting figures, TV personalities, writers, explorers and assorted others of note.

We live in an age where people are celebrated for the most modest of achievements - news and media ensure that seemingly everyone gets their five minutes of fame if they stick around long enough. It may therefore seem a little morbid or even self-serving on my part to write about the recently-deceased (few if any of whom I have actually met), but these people already enjoy some degree of immortality through their celebrity, and therefore don't need a poem from me. I hope you enjoy reading these short poetic sketches all the same, in the spirit they are intended.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Seamus Heaney - d. August 30th 2013

All I knew of poetry 
was a door into the dark; 
you painted the bogs 
with words, lit fires
along the Liffey,
laced Nordic skies 
with wonder.

Read about Seamus Heaney here 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Mike Winters - d. August 24th 2013


It must have hurt
to live at the edge
of the lens, yet, 
like all good feeds,
you knew,
the straighter the face
the louder the laughs.




Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Elmore Leonard - d. August 20th 2013



We'll see your name everywhere;
ballistics reports, rap sheets,
held up in mugshots,
at the bottom of a shot glass,
drained to the dregs.


Friday, 9 August 2013

Karen Black - d. August 8th 2013



We sing in praise
of an older woman;
occasionally up
on the marquee,
promising something
with those eyes
but never as easy
as titles suggested.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ray Harryhausen - d. May 7th 2013



We were marooned
from birth
on a desolate isle;
you sent Sinbad and Jason
to rescue us,
reimagined the world
in miniature,
to make it bigger.