On the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy – of course it’s political

January 17, 2015

Poetry is pleasure. Sometimes people say to me, ‘why should I read a poem?’ There are plenty of answers, from the profound – a poem is such an ancient means of communication that it feels like an evolutionary necessity – […]

Occupy Love

February 21, 2012

Occupy Valentine’s Day. This is the day to recognise love in every shape and size and disguise. Known love, new love, love’s ghosts, love’s hopes. Loss is here too, and the spaces in between love. Reclaiming love is the best […]

The Memories & Poems of Ted Hughes

December 5, 2011

A poem is a practical act of memory. When most memory is out-sourced to hard drive and smartphone, the poem releases in the reader a private memory-store, prompted but not prescribed by the poem. This is a relief. It is […]

Guardian Booklet on British Woods

September 5, 2011

Introduction to Guardian booklet on British Woods – April 2011 A woodcutter had three sons: One could chop down an oak tree in a day. One could plank the timber in a week. The third son was so small that […]

The King James Bible’s language lesson

March 5, 2011

My mother taught me to read from the Book of Deuteronomy because it is full of animals – mostly unclean. So while other children had horses, bunnies, kittens and ducks, I had hoopoes, sloths, snakes, rock badgers, rams, swine and […]