Skip to content
'Wandering around a music festival, a fella pointed a camera at me. ‘You wrote that book, didn’t you?’ he said. ‘I did!’ I said, thrilled, ‘did you like it?’ ‘I’m not sure,’ he said and hid any fanboy excess behind a look that might be described as unnerving...'
'As poet in residence at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, I was given a bib with the word ‘observer’ on it (lest someone mistake me for a genuine member of the emergency services). I feel I am wearing that bib a lot of the time anyway, as a poet.'
'Tension ramped up. Names read out in reverse order. Ten, nine, eight. With each name, another swig of Bloody Mary. Seven, six, five. The crunch of celery in my ear. Four, three. Where was my name? Two. No? My name was last. I’d won!'
'I was living in Soho, and the nearest bookshop was the Original Soho Bookshop, essentially a sex shop but it also stocked some excellent pop culture books on the ground floor. To see my book displayed in their window was an unparalleled thrill.'
'Another thrilling moment was the recording of the play. Pete Postlethwaite's voice expressed all of Vincent Van Gogh’s passion, obstinance, delight, anger and fervour. His Lancashire accent was perfect for the part. A mesmerising performance.'
''I never thought I was important. People in books — they’re important. So, when I found a girl in a book who was like me, when I read about her, that makes me feel important. So when I get to the end, I just go straight back to the beginning again.’'
'‘Flow’, named in the mid-twentieth century by the Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describes a mental state characterised by an intense absorption, the loss of self-consciousness and an altered perception of time. '
'These poems are never conventionally published: they skittle through the air into the hearts of whoever’s present, as gifts, ways of marking a moment that never comes again. They are poems of witness, poems that usher us over a threshold.'
'I represented Queen Mary University on University Challenge. It's not every day you get to team up with the lead singer of Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson; a TV presenter, Adrian Chiles; and Taiwanese chef. Ching He Huang. '
'On the first of September I sat down at my desk and two female characters arrived. They were called Antonia and Jane. "Write about us!" they shouted. The screenplay finished itself ten days later... and was bought by Miramax in New York.'
Back To Top