Kevan Pooler is a School Governor, ex-Safeguarding trainer, Friar, English Teacher, and Youth Worker. He runs a Nottinghamshire writers’ group.
Born in Oxford to Edith née Pooler and Patrick Murphy, he spent his teens training to be a Franciscan Friar. He ‘missed the sixties,’ but has been trying to catch up since.
Being Editor of the college magazine and Social Secretary helped him to beat Peter Hitchens and Andrew Linzey to President of the Student Union in Oxford. From that experience he discovered that Youth Work was a career.
After unqualified success in Potters Bar, he decided to train in Liverpool. He taught English and Drama on Merseyside and Humberside before returning to Social Education.
Following national recognition in Rural and Mobile Youth Work in Notts, he took on Mansfield District, one of the most deprived urban areas in Britain. His management of a multi-disciplinary team of youth workers in Sexual Health, Homelessness, School Truants, School Excluded and Knife-Crime, helped to secure the highest ever grant for youth work.
He could not stop the slashing of Youth Work budgets.
Kevan had accumulated so many stories, that he decided to turn to writing them up. Needing to hone his skills he joined one writers’ group and started another. This has been running for seven years.
He wrote ‘Apple?’ working title, ‘A Lethal Weapon Too’, in response to the Weapons of Mass Destruction debate, child soldiers in Africa, and rape as a weapon of war.
This was followed by ‘Barred?’ a crime thriller set in a youth project, questioning quite who is safeguarding young people and should some of them be barred.
Kevan then returned to a Youth Work anti-racism project started in the late 1980s, where he saw the kind treatment of Prisoners of War as a starting point for our multi-cultural society. Finding little widely accessible information, it took four years to research and results in ‘Convicted for Courage’, the full history of the POW camp system, contrasted with the treatment of Conscientious Objectors.
Kevan lives with his wife in Nottinghamshire. They have four grown children.
After formative years training to be a celibate Franciscan Friar he learnt that people knew something he did not. His discovery that they also did not know they had subliminally learnt skills as if by osmosis led him to find out for himself. This necessitated the ongoing search for the Meaning of Life, and particularly all the issues arising out of the sex that started it … or was that God?
Kevan runs a Writers’ Group.
‘Convicted for Courage’ uses testimony of prisoners of war who remained in the UK after WW2, settled and had families. Kevan made a film of them in 1989 as part of an anti-racism project in the Youth Service. After researching background to their stories he realised that the full story of the almost a million Europeans held in around two thousand camps has not been fully told. Right across the country – there was one within 20 miles of most of us – and at Christmas in 1946, we were encouraged to befriend these recent enemies.
It is written as a Memoir of an actual Conscientious Objector, who after a short spell in prison for his convictions, is ‘sentenced’ to work with POWs.
The stories of all named characters are true. The situations in which they were told has been re-created as if learnt contemporaneously in the 1940s.
‘Barred?’ is a crime mystery involving sexual exploitation gangs, drug pushers, the clerical sex abuse scandal, homophobia, crime and punishment, and forgiveness – and who exactly should be barred from working with young people. At a time when Austerity measures are cutting public service budgets and have reduced most Youth Services down to a skeleton, Leo Nicholas, the Youth Office, is furious to watch helpless as his funding for face-to-face workers drains into a bureaucratic system which purports to protect young people. Should he strike out?
It is set within a Council Youth Service partnership with a Church based charity. The title refers to the system of child protection of Criminal Record Bureau checks – The Disclosure and Barring Scheme – after which twenty percent of the nation are expected to have been Vetted. In the novel the stresses within the youth partnership lead to tragic outcomes which Detectives John ‘Chocky’ Thornton and Iruna ‘Badder’ Bahadur have initially to discern ‘whodunwot?’
‘Apple?’ The Invasion of Iraq brought out endless discussions of WMD – Weapons of Mass Destruction and led to ‘Apple?’ At the same time there was widespread disgust at the use of child soldiers and rape as a weapon of war, especially in the Sudanese conflict.
This novel is built round two interwoven journals: The first journal realises a fantasised dialogue at Grumpy Men’s Breakfast between the inventors of Dynamite, Sex and The Atom Bomb, and their discussions and dismay as to which of them invented the most Lethal Weapon of Mass Destruction.
In the second the writer is in Africa, using his Circus Skills to give ex-child soldiers something from a missed childhood. He learns from bitter experience what he should have learnt the year before.
2012’s ‘Apple?’ is currently being re-edited for paperback publication. Consideration is being given as to whether the working tile ‘A Lethal Weapon too’ might be the best.
‘The Courting Code’ will be an autobiographical novel based on the author’s quest to comprehend women after ten years training to be a celibate friar.
‘Curse the name’ follows a family from the Irish famine to the wage-slavery of the Industrial Revolution of late Victorian Lancashire.
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