Resources on poetry by the poets themselves

How do you write your poems?

How do you write your poems?

Nowadays, I write mostly on an iMac unless I’m travelling or away from home. Then I will write in a medium-sized, lined Moleskine.

At home, I have a lovely study which looks out onto the garden. I have mostly reference books here. A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang, for example, or the Encyclopedia of the Old West, Roget, Brewers, A Dictionary of Saints...

After I’ve driven my 10-year old daughter to school, I am home by 9am. I make some tea or coffee and start work.

I will look at what I was doing the day before and perhaps change it a little.

I will work till 3pm when it is time to fetch my daughter from school. Sometimes I will send e mails or take phone calls. But apart from that, I will be working on my poem.

Sometimes work on a poem can mean walking round and round the garden thinking about it. Other times, the work will involve writing a whole verse very quickly and then re-writing. I will change a verb and the whole line will jump on the page like a hooked fish. Or not.

I like to write when it is raining best. The sound of the rain is like watery typing.

I never write poems for money, except very rarely. For example, the poem I wrote for the hundreth anniversary of the Liverpool Playhouse. I used to live in Liverpool, a city I adore. (The poem is in Carol Ann Duffy Archive: Theatre in the General Reader section).

Being a poet is like having an invisible best friend for life. You are never bored or lonely with poetry. Even when times are tough, it is the best occupation in the world.