I found poetry through the Open University creative writing courses which I studied after retirement from teaching. My tutor recommended I pursue the poetry option for the advanced writing course, and I followed this with a Masters (distinction) at Manchester Metropolitan University. It’s a passion now, a way of daily life, and has brought me many friends, and opportunities to publish.
I’m drawn to lyrical, observational poetry, I think, because it appeals to my romantic nature and social history perspective on life. I love musicality in a poem, and subtle rhyme. Surprising imagery too. I don’t have a favourite single line of poetry but one poem I do hold in my heart is Raymond Carver’s ‘Late Fragment’: “And did you get what / you wanted from this life, even so? / I did. / And what did you want? / To call myself beloved, to feel myself / beloved on the earth.” Of other poets, two of many of my favourites are John Glenday and Imtiaz Dharker.
As to reviewing, I’ve been doing it for about five years. I learn much from close reading other writers’ work and know how important it is to support them. I try to focus on the positive aspects of a collection and enjoy poetry I might have initially resisted.
What’s my displacement activity? Walking my greyhound. That’s when ideas often come to me. Also having a snooze!