Thank you, Jane, for that warm introduction and thanks for having me. I will answer all the questions by everyone but perhaps not in one sitting! Feel free to ask me anything and I will do my best to respond honestly.
Real name: Ben William Pickard
Meaning behind your PnQ name: It's my name, lol
Birth place: London
Languages spoken: English and a bit of French
When you discovered PnQ and why you joined: I discovered PnQ in 2015, I think, but closed my original account in a rather rash - but not uncommon - moment. I am prone to some rather...temperamental mood swings. Still, I suppose most of us here can understand that. As for why I joined, I have always loved writing poetry but, before PnQ, I hadn't written anything since I was 18 and one night I just decided to look for on-line poetry sites and alighted on this one. I have to say, in many ways, it has changed my life and given me an entirely different outlook on life in general, not just poetry. Again, I suppose many here will relate to that. There is something special about this place and the people here.
Favorite poet(s): I'm going to surprise everyone and say....Shakespeare. I love Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas and Thomas Hardy, too.
Book you are currently reading: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Song you last listened to: I can't remember what the last track is on the album at the moment, but it was a Lana Del Rey song - I do know that much!
Inspirations for writing: In honesty and as clichéd as it may sound, just a desperate need sometimes - almost overwhelming - to try and bottle a torrent of emotions on a piece of paper and shape something great from them. I haven't done that yet and doubt I ever will, but that's my inspiration.
5 truths about yourself: 1) I suppose I am quite a close-minded sort of person, at least I was before I joined PnQ. That's what I meant about this place changing my outlook on life. I have so much more time for people in general now and more understanding of what they may be suffering from. As silly as it sounds, it started with my idea of what a poem was. I was from the old school: it had to have meter/rhyme/both or it simply wasn't poetry, old bean! Now, as time goes by, I find myself writing - or trying - more and more free verse. Poetry, ultimately, is whatever touches the human soul in someway, I guess, and I have read free verse on here that could move mountains to tears.
2) I was desperate to teach English when I finished A levels, but developed epilepsy when I was 18 and that stopped me going to university. The pressure of exams etc triggered it worse than anything else. Anyway, long story short, my wife and I now home school our three children - which includes English - so fate really does seem to play a funny hand sometimes. If I had been a 'real' teacher, I would never be teaching my kids.
3) I quite literally feel like I'm on the brink of madness sometimes. I've come to the conclusion in the last few years that there are those of us who simply feel too much. As wonderful as that can be, there is always a balance that needs paying and the flipside is bloody awful.
4) I probably drink a little too much red wine, but there you have it.
5) I met my wife when I was 17 and have never - once - looked at another woman.
*I'll get to some more questions later, but for now, a cheese and pickle sandwich calls, with maybe a gulp of red...