I got into poetry by accident. I remember writing some sort of rhyming thing around the age of five. It was based on a song called ‘Bobby Bingo’. I wrote it in pink felt tip in my gran’s outhouse while sitting on felt tiles. After that I was in. At secondary school we read Ted Hughes’ ‘Pike’ and the War poets, and I fell for the Liverpool Poets after I found a copy of ‘The Mersey Sound’ in Mr Phillips’ English class.
If I have to choose a favourite line I’ll take “I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time”, from Wichita Lineman by Jimmy Webb. It’s not officially a line of poetry, but I wish I’d written it.
I’ve been reviewing for about four years. I started reviewing for Sphinx as a way to broaden my horizons, get to grips with my own work, and to get better. Reviewing felt like a good way to engage with work more than just reading. I still do it for those reasons. And the books, especially for the books.
When reviewing I want to keep hold of the fact that someone has taken their time to write this. The OPOI guidelines are ingrained in me to find something positive. I always look for that. Beyond that, it’s a case of remembering the author and the ‘I’ on the page aren’t always the same
I find Twitter a hard habit to kick. At present stroking our new kittens is also pretty irresistible.