JUST back from the London launch of his first book of poems gifted writer Mark Pennington is still buzzing.

"The reading was fantastic," explains Mark. "I met some very interesting people, including other authors and not least the publishers - Janice and Dónall Dempsey, who came over to me after my set and said, 'hey kid, that was excellent.' The Poetry Cafe is a great venue to perform in and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience."

Mark's Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins book is an autobiographical reflection of life, lending itself to beat poetry, and, he says, is as uninhibited and as passionate as he could deliver: "I guess it's the documentation of the journey so far, and dips into life among the jazz bars, the brothels, the buskers on the street, and from Mexico to Amsterdam. It is varied in its themes but it is a true account of life and the events which have helped shape my character."

For Mark, poetry is the most rewarding of written forms. "Although it's free verse I like to construct my poems as though they were following guidelines. I like to pay attention to the rhythm of each line, it is almost like creating a piece of music - the beat is important."

Inspired by movement, travel and art, he's not keen on anything that stands still: "Life moves fast and I like to document life in my poems," adds Mark. "When I enter into a period of not writing I tend to go back and read the likes of Ginsberg, Kerouac and Bukowski, because they are still fresh, and I fall in love with writing all over again."

Born in Kendal in 1985, Mark's moved away several times but always seems to gravitate back to his home town.

"I began my studies at Stafford University. The subject was music technology, but I quickly realised that it was not the right course for me so I went to Lancaster to study sociology.

"It was in my final year that I began to wonder if I had chosen the wrong subject yet again as I found that I was focusing more on my creative endeavours and was getting poems published in magazines. I've always felt encouraged to write creatively ever since my first poem was published in an anthology when I was 11.

"I left Lancaster and eventually completed my studies in advanced creative writing with the Open University in 2014."

As well as penning poetry Mark also edits and upload books for an online charity, helping the visually impaired to access Braille and other formats.

He's also writing a novel and there's a second poetry collection in the pipeline.

Many of the poems included in Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins have appeared in magazines and journals of poetry and he's recently been nominated for The Pushcart Prize for poetry; the book itself is the frame for the Forward Prize for best debut collection.

Come Saturday, May 26, and Mark will be reading from Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins during the Brewery Art Centre's Verbalise event at the Kendal arts centre's Warehouse. A great opportunity to share his flowing stanzas with a discerning audience.

"There is a lot of variation, some short, others longer, and subject matter is eclectic, so hopefully the audience will not be bored."

Copies of the book will be on sale on the night.

Barren Stories for Moonlit Mannequins is also available through Waterstones.