We asked poets to choose three poems which they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. We wanted to know where they first read them, why they have particular significance and how they have impacted their own work. Read their responses — funny, moving and eloquent.
Castaway poet Anne Rouse chooses poems about beauty, truth and hope, and promises not to brood too much on the island
Castaway poet Sarah Wimbush chooses poems by Ted Hughes, Liz Berry and Paul Bentley to take to a desert island
Castaway poet Julia Bird chooses three poems to take to a desert island
Castaway poet Anne-Marie Fyfe chooses three poems to take to a desert island. She talks about the stylistic simplicity of Emily Dickinson, finding echoes of traumatic events from childhood and charting her family’s past
Castaway poet Ben Wilkinson chooses three poems to take to a desert island. He talks about musicality, men’s mental health, and how Louis MacNeice, Stevie Smith and John Keats have influenced his work