In all the poems I’ve written I’ve not really engaged in politics, and when I’ve found myself moving in that direction I’ve always stopped myself.
I’d got to a point where I wanted a break.
I once stood in the middle of New York city watching my name go round the electronic zipper sign in Times Square and I felt pretty thrilled, but not quite as thrilled as I felt when I saw my name in the ‘Examiner’ for the first time.
I’d never really been content with just churning out these slim volumes every three or four years. I’ve always tried to think of poetry as an active ingredient in the language rather than just something that appears between the covers of thin books.
Occasionally it’s been a long and bumpy road – one I’m still travelling – but I’ve always felt like my home town has been solidly behind me and I’m both grateful and proud.
If you were going to choose a way of making your way in this world and a place to start from, you might not choose poetry and you might not choose Huddersfield.
I even feel guilty if I’m reading a novel, because I think I should be reading Homer again. I don’t really know what free time is, because I don’t have something to measure it against.
People who read poetry, for example, like the feel, the heft and the smell of a book.
The Huddersfield that I like best is a large town with a big heart and an open mind.
It reminds me to say that staying local should never be about looking at the world through a closed window, but about making a home then throwing the doors open and inviting the world in.