Writers who inspire me with their unstinting effort. T. E. Lawrence, who lost the only copy of his massive The Seven Pillars of Wisdom on a train and immediately began to write another version. Shirley Hazzard, who wrote thirty drafts of her masterpiece The Transit of Venus.
'Six French-speaking poets got together with six English-speaking poets, and translated each other's poems. What became clear was that some of the French poets were operating with a very different aesthetic than the English-speaking poets.'
A walk across the Golden Gate Bridge was Tom Bryan’s introduction to the work and abruptly foreshortened life of poet Weldon Kees. Thus began Bryan’s obsession with writers who disappeared — both those who are presumed to have taken their own lives and those whose lives were probably taken from them.
Martina Evans kept starting novels only to find that they turned into poems and diagnosed in herself a resistance to narrative extension. She taught fiction and wrote poetry: bored with the padding of novels, she felt only poems tunnelled into the seam where memory meets the unconscious. Here she offers a passionate defence of the shorter form.