Why do you write?
I haven’t got too much else going on. And I think there is a sad need for approbation in there somewhere. I do like the way poetry works chemically on me.And I feel a profound satisfaction when the key word in the last line, locks the poem down.
What books do you read?
Mainly biography; poets and mountaineers. Also easy reading modern history. The novel appeals less now. Not too much poetry.
What inspires you?
I’m a bit of a prompt junkie, so I would say given the challenge I’m open to inspiration from anywhere.
Recent inspirations have come from relationships, my Welsh background, folk myths, the workings of the body. I get obsessed and then will write many poems on one subject.
The object you’re writing about, is not as important as the object of your writing.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?
I had a vague notion that writing would suit me, but never had the confidence to do anything about it. I came from a non-bookish household with little in the way of educative achievement, so thought it wasn’t for the likes of me.
So, I didn’t read or write poetry for some thirty years, until a girlfriend encouraged me. My short collection BODIES is dedicated to her.
How do you deal with rejection?
Easily if a lone occurrence amongst acceptances (I’m pretty good at sending the right poem to the right mag); less so if I’m on a bad run….
Who are some writers you admire?
I admire anyone who can put a roof over their head and food on the table through their art, but I take it we’re talking about their work here, rather than their lives.
RS Thomas, Gavin Ewart (I have to keep my distance or I become a tribute act….), Elizabeth Bishop, John Betjeman. Poets who are not dead, Vicki Feaver, John Gohorry, Bethany W Pope.
Is writing the only artistic medium you do?
I garden and landscape professionally and I probably under-estimate the artistry in that.
I used to play a multitude of musical instruments, now it’s just the bongos or a table top. As a boy, I sang like a bird at the Royal Albert Hall.
I am artful….
What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
A blank page won’t fill itself, so get some miles in your legs.
Looking at the word count of my poetry folder, I’ve written 86, 917 words in the six years since I started writing.
I think this exercise leads to neurological change.
If I need a metaphor, it’s there, if the poem needs a certain rhythm, it’s already got it.
I’m told I have my own recognisable style; that developed from writing, writing, writing.
What is your writing process?
I write everyday (if I can, first thing in the morning).
I use a Tablet, to give me structure, plus my handwriting is bloody awful.
Ira Lightman was kind enough to give me some guidance, as to purpose within a poem and about releasing the self to write with abandon. This has made a big difference, but you’ll have to ask him, not me….