Kevan Pooler

Creative Writer on The Meaning of Life and the Sex that started it.

Kevan Pooler

Kevan Pooler


               2012                                             2015                          2022 Illustrated Update

Kevan Pooler is the pen-name of Kevin P Murphy who runs Retwords Writers’ Group, is a School Governor, ex-Safeguarding trainer, Friar, English Teacher, and Youth Worker.

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.

The collection of POW Experiences that is Convicted for Courage with over 100 photographs is  available in print and Kindle.

His Covid-long Work in Progress, an autobiographical novel, What’s Sex got to do with it? is now in Beta. First draft proofed and formatted.

It is based on 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? Have you cracked ‘The Courting Code?’

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 since 2011.

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. It’s a good idea but needs re-editing.

This was followed by Barred? published by Lime Press, a crime thriller set in a youth project, in 2011 – the year the big axes started to fall on Local Government Youth Services. As Leo sees his funding going for with real people to keep Young People safe being diverted the administration of the Disclosure and Barring Scheme, he wonders quite who is supposed to be 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 of the POW camp system, based on experiences Kevan has collected.

Kevan lives with his wife in Nottinghamshire. They have four grown children.

Works available here:

Convicted for Courage’ is the story of the Prisoner of War (POW) camp system across Britain during the 1940s. It is based on the testimony of people who were there. 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 situations in which they were told have been re-created as if learnt by Eric at the time.

Many POWs 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.

The stories of all named characters are true.

It is published by Lime Press and available in paperback and Kindle here.

‘Barred?’ is a psychological thriller 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. Most Youth Services are down to a skeleton, while Leo Nicholas, the Youth Officer, is furious as his funding for face-to-face workers with young people on the streets, drains into a bureaucratic system which purports to protect young people. Should he strike out?

An unusual setting – a Council Youth Service partnership with a Church based charity. The stress leads to tragic outcomes.

Detectives Inspector John ‘Chocky’ Blundell from Thornton, Liverpool, and Sergeant Iruna ‘Badder’ Bahadur from Blackbird Leys, Oxford wonder ‘whodunwot?’ in a barely fictionalised North Notts.

Published by Lime Press and available in paperback and Kindle here.


‘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.

Published by Lime Press and available on Kindle here.


What’s sex got to do with it?  is an autobiographical novel, based on the author’s quest to comprehend women after ten years training to be a celibate friar. Working titles included The Language of Love and The Courting Code

Curse the name follows a family from the Irish famine to the wage-slavery of the Industrial Revolution of late Victorian Lancashire.

This website shares occasional items relating to all Kevan Pooler’s writings. Please click ‘Follow’ to be informed of updates.

1 Comment

  1. Callum

    Ride on Kevin! However, I fear you may never experience the 60’s again and even if you did, most will tell you that the little pills, white powder and hash obliterated the memory cells!

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