‘Lost objects and unreliable memories… are everywhere in my writing,’ says James McConnachie – wondering if perhaps this preoccupation with missing and destroyed documents, contended versions of history, and rescuing facts from obscurity might have its origin in something that happened in his childhood – the loss of a beloved toy car.
Should poetry be about something — other than itself? asks John Greening, considering some famous examples of works that have defied this question, as well as others which have dared to be topical, even at the risk of becoming irrelevant over time.
Every writer knows the terror of Blank Page Syndrome, and writing poetry offers the ‘bleachiest’ pages of all, according to Kona MacPhee. However, the creative constraints of writing to commission, far from limiting the poet’s imagination, can be one way of setting it free.