North East Connected

Mystery poet strikes at NY salon

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 14.56.40A poem for Christmas, the latest by Mark Jones to be sent to Shine Hairdressing, in Stokesley

A mystery man dubbed the Banksy of the poetry world has struck again by sending six of his uplifting poems to a North Yorkshire hair salon.

Shine Hairdressing, in Stokesley, has become the latest salon to be singled out to receive poetry from Mark Jones, who has been likened to the graffiti artist Banksy for the anonymous way in which he works.

The poet has sent dozens of his poems, apparently at random, to salons across the UK and, although he signs them, his identity remains a mystery.

Stephen MacVean, owner of Shine, received the first poem in May.

“I thought it was a bit strange, especially being anonymous, but I liked the poem so I kept it. A few weeks later we got another so I showed them to clients and they thought they were nice poems too.

“After the third one came, I Googled the poet’s name and found that salons across the country had received them,” he explained.

Since then Shine has received three more poems, which tackle issues including bravery, sharing, friendship and, in the latest that arrived this week, Christmas.

Handwritten in silver pen on black paper, they are all signed on the reverse by “composer Mark Jones” and include the messages ‘Keep Britain friendly’, ‘Keep your chin up’ and ‘Keep smiling’.

Stephen added: “It’s all quite intriguing, I like the air of mystery. The messages in the poems are uplifting so there’s no harm in it and it’s nice that he wants to share his positive thoughts.”

All the poems have come with a Lancashire postmark. Other salons in Wales, the North West, Hartlepool and Newcastle have received them.

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