I have a theory that if you’ve got the kind of parents who want to send you to boarding school, you’re probably better off at boarding school.
In my case, the long gaps between my books have got quite a lot to do with lack of confidence. A lot of the time when I’m not writing I start thinking I can’t do it.
The interesting thing is that you don’t often meet a poet who doesn’t have a sense of humour, and some of them do keep it out of their poems because they’re afraid of being seen as light versifiers.
I like a quiet life.
I always tell students that writing a poem and publishing it are two quite separate things, and you should write what you have to write, and if you’re afraid it’s going to upset someone, don’t publish it.
I think it’s a question which particularly arises over women writers: whether it’s better to have a happy life or a good supply of tragic plots.
I was single for a long time and felt very much alone in the world, and talk of family values upset me very much at that phase in my life, because I used to think: ‘What about people like me?’
Bloody Christmas, here again, let us raise a loving cup, peace on earth, goodwill to men, and make them do the washing up.