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Mark Hurlin Shelton is a Poet from Cape Town South Africa, born in October 1967. He was raised by his grandparents in Three Anchor Bay, near Sea Point, where he attended his first schools: Ellerton Primary and Sea Point Boys Primary. His childhood gave him a sad start,his parents separated before he turned four, his father died when he was five and a few months later his mother left town to seek acting work in Johannesburg,not returning for five years.Raised by his grandparents,his family were pretty dysfunctional and when he was twelve years old he went to stay at St Johns Hostel, a home for boys. After matriculating at Rosebank House College,,He studied for three years toward a BA Social Science degree, at the University of Cape Town, majoring in Philosophy, but did not complete it ,after an emotional break up with his first love,he suffered a breakdown and sought therapy, planning to resume his studies,but in the interim received an army call up--this he evaded by flying to Europe where he spent the better part of four years backpacking and working around Europe and the Middle East.,...In Europe he worked as a dishwasher, factory worker. movie extra, street busker, fruit-picker, flower bulb packager, care worker, and generaL labourer to help finance his travels through 23 countries. After returning to South Africa he embarked on a career as a Childrens Entertainer, which he has continued for more than two decades. When Mark was 29 years old he was diagnosed with untreated Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, something that is very real and causes a great deal of challenges and difficulties, but is also a blessing, since many people with ADhD are always trying new things and have quite exciting and adventurous albeit complicated lives. More recently Mark taught TEFL/TESOL English for a year in South East Asia. After getting in trouble for a visa overstay, Mark spent two months and twelve days in a Thai Detention Centre, before being flown home to South Africa. Mark is a survivor. In 2006, He was violently attacked in his home in an armed robbery in which he was stabbed with a pitchfork, which fortunately for him was far blunter than it looked...his attacker also attempted to throw battery acid at his face, this he protected with his arm, which was severely scarred, but completely saved his face. Mark does not consider himself a victim , but a survivor. Mark believes that despite his ordeals that God's hand has been on him and that Hehas a beautiful plan for Mark's life. Just in case the reader thought at any stage that life couldn't get more weird, crazy adventurous and wonderful, when Mark was forty-two years old while researching his grandmothers family tree, he discovered that he was actually Jewish. Life is funny wonderful, painful, beautiful, amazing and sad, a rollercoaster ride. Mark gives thanks to God and does his best to be positive and get on with it. For a living, for over two decades , Mark has been a children's entertainer by trade, a kid's comedian, smilemaker, juggler and balloon artist, a job that he loves that has brought him immense joy. As a poet Mark has been writing since his childhood and has written many hundreds of poems,as well as songs which he sings and plays on guitar. He loves travelling and has to date visited over 40 countries. His brain is always buzzing and busy with too many interests. He seldom ever feels bored. . In 1999 in Yeoville Johannesburg Mark met and became friends with the celebrated South African poet, Sinclair Beiles, who reviewed a selection of his poetry...Sinclair then wrote the following prologue for Mark"s poems...entitled "These Songs" .It reads as follows: THESE SONGS by Sinclair Beiles These are songs of wise observations Made in a spirit of innocence and love They are both for the old and the young For those who have poetry in their souls In these everyone can find the best moments of themselves. Signed: Sinclair Beiles ( Winner of the Ingrid Jonker memorial prize for poetry) Life is an unfinished business, a journey, not a destination, and its Mark"s dream to get his poetry published and recognised. He WILL.
Mark Hurlin Shelton