All items: Sharon Olds

In those happy bygone days when I was a smoker I would wake early, make myself a coffee, tuck myself up on the sofa with a book and read for an hour before breakfast: three fags.
Poetry is a great thing to give a novelist, I think. Very few of the volumes I own are ones I chose for myself. A treasured collection is by Harry Martinson, sent me by a friend and colleague which I'd otherwise never have come across.
Through Amado I sensed society could be more forgiving than life in Surrey. Tent of Miracles was my self-help book not something from the Mind and Body section. Armado's women are strong, and he loves them.

Lorna Thorpe speaks with Geoff Hattersley about wild youth and being a 'late starter in everything', becoming a poet by accident, being dead for six minutes, and her American and musical influences.

John Siddique speaks with Frances Byrnes about his troubled childhood, how literature provided him with a proxy family, and the power of colours in his own writing.

Julia Copus examines the role of intense personal experience in contemporary poetry, including her own recent work.

Joanne Limburg examines the complex responsibility of writing honestly about one’s own life when this also requires writing about the lives of others.