All items: Leonard Cohen

Listening as a schoolboy to the great singer-songwriters of the 1970s helped to shape Donny O’Rourke’s sense of what might be achieved in poetry. Here he pays tribute to some of the musicians who influenced him.
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.

Steven Pinker speaks with his old friend and schoolmate, the RLF’s Marcy Kahan, about coming of age in Montreal’s Anglophone Jewish community, the nature of good writing and the 'classic style', and managing a dictionary by democratic processes.

As a former member of a rock band who has also been a music journalist, Doug Johnstone has always felt that music was essential to his writing. Here he considers other writers who have also made a career out of music — and vice versa.
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.

Donny O’Rourke speaks with Geoff Hattersley about American influences, anthologising a golden age of Scottish poetry, his love of travel, and how you distinguish a poem from a song.

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