Thursday, 20 April 3797

Who is Alfie Shoyger?

Alfie Shoyger was born in 1980 in Clapton, East London, the youngest of three sons. His father was a minicab driver and his mother worked in a slipper factory. They divorced in 1982 and Shoyger was brought up by his mother in Walthamstow, East London. He attended a rough and underachieving state school, but went on to study English Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. It was here that he started to write and perform poetry.

After university, Shoyger worked for a decade in a string of ordinary jobs including pubs, warehouses, gardening, removals, a stationery shop, a small independent bookshop and scrubbing mud off bits of pottery for archaeologists, as he wrote and performed his work, searched for artistic collaborators and recorded music.

He lived for most of 2011 as a squatter in various buildings in Bristol, including the notable squat ‘Telepathic Heights’ shortly before its repossession triggered the Stokes Croft riot in April that year. In 2012 he moved to Stuttgart, and two years later to Berlin, in order to realise his long-held ambition of learning German, while working as an English teacher.

He quit Germany in 2016 during the European Migrant Crisis, and now lives in Poland.

Disoccidented (2018) is Alfie Shoyger’s first poetry collection. It is largely intended as an autobiography in verse, and works best if you read the poems in the order they appear in the book.

Hate Speech and Thoughtcrime is his proposed second collection, a work in progress.