At a bit of a loss in terms of what to write next is a luxury really after having had a new collection recently published. But the sensitive poet, all sixteen stones or 100kg of him, will always have a reason to question himself, and wonder if that’s it. End of poetry. End of poet.
I’ve enjoyed a writing relationship with my nephew, the admirably talented Ben Nash, for some time now. We share our widely divergent writing regularly and generally keep each other motivated. He recently read my New York sonnet, last month’s Poem of the Month about cycling through Manhattan, and suggested I write a collection of New York sonnets. Something about the idea caught my attention and for the first time in ages I felt a little jolt that felt a bit like inspiration.
A few days later cycling to the gym at 5.45am as part of my new regime [slightly bonkers I know] I passed the lovely little space that is Burley Park in Leeds 4 and I thought, ‘I need to write about this waking city of mine. This big, messy and sometimes beautiful place that I’ve lived in for nearly fifty years’.
And so I’ve started. And it feels very exciting, trying to write about favourite places, the highways and byways of a city. Leeds Town Hall which was black when I arrived in 1971, then cleaned to golden sandstone, and is slowly darkening again. Park Square where I first got married in 1974. City of Leeds School where I taught for nearly a decade….