Are places important in your poetry?

I think places are incredibly important in my writing and wherever I am at the time or whatever place is important to me at the time affects the poems that I'm writing. This is sometimes about writing directly about particular places, so in my poem Hard Water, for instance, I write very directly about the town where I was born and brought up, and that is the subject matter of that poem, the experience of living there. But at other times it's more subtle than that, it's as if the landscape of the place where I am at the time becomes my interior landscape as well, and it becomes the psychological place in which the poems I'm writing locate themselves. So for instance, I've written poems which have been much more urban in texture when I've been living in cities, and then more recently I spent twenty years living on the northwest coast of England, just north of Liverpool, and the character of this particular stretch of coast very much got into the poems I was writing at the time, whatever they were about. The sound of the wind and these big skies that you get there, and the sound of the gulls and so on became part of the texture of those poems.


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