Why do you write?
It is a need, writing nourishes me. It is my pipes and drums, communication with the world is the simplest answer. If I’m not writing then I’m hell to live with.
What books do you read?
Poetry books mainly, but I do read biographies and fiction, particularly science fiction and I have a hankering for graphic novels.
What inspires you?
Whatever takes my fancy, the muse isn’t static. I go to galleries, plays, the cinema, flea markets and pick apart the books. There’s no feeling like it when you discover a treasure, whether it be a letter in an old book or an idea that strikes you instantly.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?
I wanted to be an actor when I was little, I put on plays for my family and my cousins and the pets would be the players. I would write these, this was when I was about seven. I’ve always wrote short stories as long as I can remember. I first wrote poetry when I was a teenager. I had an offer for publication when I was seventeen but all I was interested then was being in a band. I played the guitar, wore my hair long, wrote the songs. I guess I can be a bit of a control deviant.
How do you deal with rejection?
It depends on the magazine, sometimes I feel sick to the pit of my innards, sometimes the editor writes a nice rejection. They are are always appreciated. Most times I feel nauseous, writers are ultra sensitive to any rejection.
Who are some writers you admire?
Lots, I’ll give you some. Whitman, Ginsberg (although I haven’t read him for quite awhile), Eliot, Heaney, Plath, Blake, John Clare, Bethany W. Pope, George Szirtes, Angela Topping, Helen Ivory, Martin Figura, Phillip K. Dick, Dickens. Anyone that’s real, anyone who isn’t afraid to scrape marrow from their bones.
Is writing the only artistic medium you do?
Now yes. I used to paint a lot. I had a stroke in 2012 and it left my right arm next to useless, my writing hand, so I can’t doddle in my notebook anymore, or play guitar.
What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?
Read more contemporary poetry, stick at it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read a lot and don’t be afraid if your tank is empty, it’ll fill up.
What is your writing process?
I get up early, brew some strong coffee and write everyday, even (and this is infuriating) if it’s just a line. I should go to bed early but I love the sounds of the night.