The faking of feelings is a sin against the imagination.
I would say that something important for me and for my generation in Northern Ireland was the 1947 Education Act, which allowed students who won scholarships to go on to secondary schools and thence to university.
I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible.
I suppose you inevitably fall into habits of expression.
Tom Sleigh’s poetry is hard-earned and well founded. I great admire the way it refuses to cut emotional corners and yet achieves a sense of lyric absolution.
Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it.
I always believed that whatever had to be written would somehow get itself written.
I’ve always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.
My experience is that prose usually equals duty – last minute, overdue-deadline stuff or a panic lecture to be written.
The group of writers I had grown up with in the ’60s – Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, James Simmons, John Hewitt, Paul Muldoon – formed a very necessary and self-sustaining group.