Being able to spend three years in the company of extraordinary characters such as Ian Fleming, Rudyard Kipling, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins has been more than a privilege, it has helped make me who I am.
A poet who does not figure in my childhood anthology but who has become very important for me in adulthood is Emily Dickinson. If Dylan Thomas introduces you to intoxication, Dickinson shows you how to distill it.
When I first heard a poet read, in a chemistry laboratory at Newcastle University, he was Ted Hughes; his gruff Yorkshire voice threw me onto a frosty moor. I could see horses. Hear horizons.
Are writers mad — or only very sane? Horatio Clare reflects on this conundrum, with relation to his own experience of mental illness.
When he came to move house, Roy Bainton was faced with the painful necessity of having to get rid of hundreds of well-loved books. But how to decide which should stay and which should go?
Reading as a writer and not just as a reader is a different experience, both richer and less carefree; instead of simply enjoying the ride now you are paying attention to the mechanism that makes it possible
Cynan Jones speaks with James McConnachie about 'the square mile' in Welsh culture, the experience of re-telling stories, and the spark that sends him to the writing shed to get a pending novel down on the page.
As an avid reader of poetry, Roy Bainton had always felt it was beyond his capabilities to write it. Then a fortuitous encounter with another RLF writer – and a provocative study of poetry by Stephen Fry – made him think again.