My contract with my teachers is fair, and is two pages. The union contract is 200 pages. You cannot manage your business when you cannot make any decision without going back to 200 pages worth of stuff.
It is a violation which has obsessed the tyrants of the twentieth century. They do not want simply to kill their opponents, but to liquidate them, to deny that they have ever existed.
I have learned so much from working with other poets, travelling and reading with them, spending days discussing poems in progress. There is the sense that we are all, as writers, part of something which is more powerful than any of us.
Poets go through a very tough apprenticeship in the use of words.
Mourning Ruby is not a flat landscape: it is more like a box with pictures painted on every face. And each face is also a door which opens, I hope, to take the reader deep into the book.
It’s unfortunate that sometimes in schools, there’s this need to have things quantified and graded.
However, I began to submit poems to British magazines, and some were accepted. It was a great moment to see my first poems published. It felt like entering a tradition.
Pretty much every weekend, my wife and I have the shall-we-live-in-the-country conversation. I suppose it’s something to do with getting older and feeling I want to shed some of the things I’ve been doing for the last 20 years and go back to my roots.
I’m a night person. My best times are midnight to six, actually.
At a school in Massachusetts where I once worked, we managed early on through consensus. Which sounds wonderful, but it was just a very, very difficult way to sort of manage anything, because convincing everybody to do one particular thing, especially if it was hard, was almost impossible.