Skip to content
08-02-2024

John Greening speaks with Caroline Sanderson about discovering that poetry was his calling, and discusses his wide-ranging career in verse, editing and literary criticism.

When my family left Lebanon in the middle of the civil war, Stories from the Sands of Africa was one of the few things I brought with me to the UK. On its cover, a girl sits astride an alligator with sharp teeth. She’s being swept downstream to who knows where. But she looks happy.
'To see the world afresh we ‘make it strange’. It is also a way of creeping up close to realities, instincts and fears we have difficulty thinking or talking about. For Les Murray’s ‘Pigs’ the abattoir, and hence death, is incomprehensible: '
Elizabeth Barrett visits Sylvia Plath’s grave and reflects on what the poet’s rural resting place has meant to her over four decades.
Alex Nye reflects on a biology lesson at school in the 1970s, and how she is still wrestling with the same preoccupations as a writer even now.
Michael Woods explores British birds of prey as sources of inspiration and metaphor for writers, including some notable literary examples.
10-11-2022

Jonathan Edwards speaks with John Greening about Welsh tradition and the impact of Welsh nationalism in poetry, writing about family in the context of truth and fiction, the impact of winning a major poetry prize and the Bic 4-way pen as the most essential tool in his creative process.

'Rarely, a poem will appear as if from nowhere. That really is a treasurable moment. I first remember it happening in a Devon orchard, staring at the trees and feeling them simply turn into words. It was a real poem, perhaps my earliest real poem.'
Gerry Cambridge on the life-altering discovery that shaped his writing career and the value of a well-selected poetry anthology.
'The kind of fluidity I aspire to is exemplified by Ted Hughes, who could write a masterly short story such as 'The Rain Horse', but also rhymed light verse for children, lyrical season songs, confessional Birthday Letters, a film poem...'
'Good nature poetry is about looking, but it's also about having the right vocabulary, which most of us townies are losing. It's worth reading a few poets who really know about trees and flowers.'
Back To Top