You are also a painter. How are your poetry and your painting linked?

Well, before I wrote at all, I painted. When I was a child I imagined I would be an artist, a visual artist. I love colours, I love figures, I love animals, and so on, but when I came to England that was one of the things - and it's very interesting in your life there are always crossroads - and I had a choice between studying fine art or philosophy. Part of me thought I could always do art without studying it and I would like to know more about philosophy and psychology and so on. Maybe not, maybe I would have been a visual artist if I had studied fine art, but that was always one of my passions. I think for me creativity - I mean I also write fiction - I think they are quite closely connected. Although poets say, don't they, that poets can write novels but novelists can't write poetry. I'm not sure if that's true, I think there's a point in that poets are probably much more sensitive to the subtleness of words, the nuances of words, and are much better editors, and maybe that will feed into writing fiction. But for me poetry, fiction, stories or art, they are very much connected, I just see them as different channels of the same thing. If my poetry is about how things are, how things have been, my art is very much about how I would like things to be. It's a utopian kind of perfect picture, it's very soppy sometimes, but I really like beautiful things. I have a struggle understanding some modern art of course, like everyone else, but I think it's, again, not being able, not having had the education to study how art has developed and what it means. My art has stayed as a visually beautiful thing, as a utopian world that I would like to explore. But I think they are connected, for me they've always been connected.

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