Twice nominated for The Pushcart Prize between June and November 2018 by two different US publishers, Dr Raymond Fenech Gonzi embarked on his writing career at 17, as a trainee parliamentary reporter, working for three major Maltese political newspapers. He worked as a journalist with the leading English newspaper, The Times of Malta, at 20, few months after the building of the newspaper was attacked by thugs, dispatched by the totalitarian Mintoffian Regime to burn the offices down. After the demise of the regime, the author sought pastures new away from politics, and worked for a leading advertising agency in its PR and copywriting department. He was appointed editor of two nationwide distributed magazines, Living 2000 and The Globe Trotter and managing director of an in-house advertising agency he set up for the largest travel agency, Mondial Travel.
At the peak of his career, aged 42, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer closely followed by a stroke. Raymond survived and went on to set up his own business as a consultant in advertising, PR, copywriting, editing and printing for the following 20 years, until his retirement in 2018. He is now working as a full-time writer, poet and editor.
He was assigned to edit The Dream, the Glory and the Strife, the annual members’ anthology of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance in 2017, and wrote a lengthy review about the poetry anthology, Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century, published by Lummox Press, USA and edited by the renowned Canadian writer, translator, publisher, poet and book reviewer, James Deahl. The 20,000-word review is being published in serial parts in the literary magazine, Canadian Stories.
Fenech Gonzi’s work has appeared in various literary publications, including, books, anthologies, magazine, journals and newspapers in 15 countries. The author’s most recent two publications, The Incident of the Mysterious Priest and Other Stories and a collection of his poems, Growing with the Shadows were both published and launched by a New York Publisher, USA, in 2018. Both books were launched at the International Book Fair, Expo America in New York during the same year.
Most of his research on Maltese ghosts appeared in The International Directory of the Most Haunted Places by Penguin Books, USA, 2000, edited by Dennis William Hauck. Ray studied the paranormal, the occult and parapsychology with several institutions in this field, including Flamel College, USA, The UK College of Holistic Training and Edinburgh University, Scotland.
He has a BA, MA and a PhD in journalism and creative writing, and certificates in both Poetry Therapy and Therapeutic Journaling. He was awarded a scholarship in poetry therapy by The Creative ‘Righting’ Center, Touro College, Hofstra University of New York in 2007. He is the academic advisor (Poetry Therapy), at The UK College of Holistic Training (UKCHT).
Raymond launched his own magazine, Literature for the People, in 2020, available on Amazon Books.
Inside it my youth juggles with ghosts
frozen in the scent of weather-beaten wood.
Through its gaping crevices
I see the rust of the anchor
bleeding around a fossilized starfish.
Seagulls make a cacophonic melody
as if teasing humans for their limitations,
proud of their naturally gifted ability
to fly, float and walk on land.
This time capsule of youth is shattered
by the gasman hooting his horn,
a weekly wakeup calls for his customers.
Those summers are now like some forgotten tale
when fresh fish glittered in their armoured scales
and time hung on the endless fishing line,
sunk into an abyss of green where it aged unseen.
Wet fingers were cut easily by nylon thread,
but youth prevented blood from spilling.
Poetry in this post: © Raymond Fenech Gonzi
Published with the permission of Raymond Fenech Gonzi