All items: W.H.Auden

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.

Ann Morgan retells the grand old myth about becoming a published author, then takes her editorial red pen to all of its inaccuracies.

Nicholas Murray dissects his own reluctance to call himself a writer, after an early career in journalism and despite having subsequently published more than twenty books in a huge variety of genres.

A change of place, finding a new muse, pausing on a London bridge, all can stimulate the writer's imagination again, says John Greening. From a sexual potency operation for W.B.Yeats, to Clive James’ terminal illness, there are many ways to trigger inspiration.
Chinua, an Igbo from Nigeria of my father's generation, who wrote Things Fall Apart with its title by an Irishman and its split focus between a pre-colonial West African people and culture and a British colonial administrator; it was, when I read it, the best thing I had ever read.
A lifelong fascination with history has shaped John Pilkington’s career as a novelist — as well as offering insights into vanished eras, he argues, writing about the past can be a way of understanding the present.
There are poets I love but will hesitate to read if I am in the middle of writing a poem because I know their style is infectious; Ted Hughes for instance, or Seamus Heaney. There's something Heaney-esque in every male poet of a certain age.
For Katherine Stansfield, travelling by train and reading have always been intertwined, and writing on trains comes naturally. She reflect on whether it’s the rhythm of the train itself – or the overheard conversations – which are so inspiring.