Interview with David Tait

I talked to David Tait about his first full collection ‘Self-Portrait with The Happiness’ (Smith/Doorstop) PART 1: THE POET Paul: Where was home? David: Home was a variety of places. I’m from Lancaster originally and before moving to China lived in a youth hotel in the Lake District (I was a really bad catering manager)... Continue Reading →

Interview with Rebecca Watts

I talked to Rebecca Watts about her first full collection 'The Met Office Advises Caution' (Carcanet). PART 1: THE POET Paul: You were born in Suffolk. Could you tell me a little about the place you grew up, and its people and language? Rebecca: Suffolk’s a rural county. I grew up on the edge of... Continue Reading →

Interview with Robert Peake

I talked to Robert Peake about his first full collection 'The Knowledge' (Nine Arches Press). PART 1: THE POET Paul: You are a British-American poet according to your biography. What does this mean, both technically and in terms of how you identify? Where are your connections to America and Britain? Robert: It probably sounds more... Continue Reading →

Interview with Claudine Toutoungi

I talked to Claudine Toutoungi about her first full collection ‘Smoothie’ (Carcanet, 2017). PART 1: THE POET Paul: You have a background in acting and theatre. How did you arrive at poetry? Claudine: There’s obviously a connection in that both genres involve a shared experience and are concerned with sound hitting the air. Growing up,... Continue Reading →

Interview with Matthew Stewart

I talked to Matthew Stewart about his first full collection ‘The Knives of Villalejo’ (Eyewear, 2017), which has been 20 years in the making. He previously published two pamphlets with HappenStance, 'Inventing Truth' in 2011 and 'Tasting Notes' in 2012. PART 1: SPAIN, WINE AND LANGUAGE Paul: The collection is full of the flavours and landscapes... Continue Reading →

Interview with Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

I talked to Elisabeth Sennitt Clough about poems from her pamphlet ‘Glass’ (winner of the inaugural Paper Swans Press Competition 2016, and subsequently the Saboteur Awards Best Poetry Pamphlet 2017) and her first collection ‘Sightings’ (Pindrop Press 2016). PART 1: THE FENS PS: When did you realise the unique quality of that black Fen soil?... Continue Reading →

Getting the cover right

Arriving at the right cover for Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017) came about through an extended dialogue and a process of visual exploration for me, Sarah (the publisher) and Jill (the judge) in July and August. I thought I’d look back at our discussions and the exchange of emails to see how we... Continue Reading →

Free Verse Poetry Book Fair

I had a great day last Saturday at the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall in London, launching my new pamphlet, Selfie with Waterlilies, published by Paper Swans Press, a labour of love of Sarah Miles. It was so good to finally meet Sarah after all our correspondence around the pamphlet, with all... Continue Reading →

Poetry and psychoanalysis

It was a pleasure to be invited to read at the conference 'Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Creative Borders and Boundaries' on 9-10 June in London. The event was organised by poets and researchers Kathryn Maris and Catherine Humble in collaboration with psychoanalyst Susanne Lansman. It took place in the Sigmund Freud Lecture Theatre at the Institute... Continue Reading →

Back from Newcastle Poetry Festival

My first time in Newcastle. Stepping off the train I was struck but how beautiful and clean the station with its high, curved Victorian canopy. And then the metro – yes, Newcastle has an underground – was really modern, well-lit and with modern infrastructure. The cars feel like being on London's District Line. Alas, I... Continue Reading →

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