What will you do now with the gift of your left life?
I like to use simple words, but in a complicated way.
When you have a child, your previous life seems like someone else's. It's like living in a house and suddenly finding a room you didn't know was there, full of treasure and light.
Like the sand and the oyster, it's a creative irritant. In each poem, I'm trying to reveal a truth, so it can't have a fictional beginning.
As anyone who has the slightest knowledge of my work knows, I have little in common with Larkin, who was tall, taciturn and thin-on-top, and unlike him I laugh, nay, sneer, in the face of death. I will concede one point: we are both lesbian poets.
What do I have to help me, without spell or prayer, endure this hour, endless, heartless, anonymous, the death of love?
This is the word tightrope. Now imagine a man, inching across it in the space between our thoughts. He holds our breath. There is no word net. You want him to fall, don't you? I guessed as much; he teeters but succeeds. The word applause is written all over him.
Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love... I am trying to be truthful.
Light gatherer. You fell from a star into my lap, the soft lamp at the bedside mirrored in you, and now you shine like a snowgirl, a buttercup under a chin, the wide blue yonder you squeal at and fly in.
I still read Donne, particularly his love poems.
Poets deal in writing about feelings and trying to find the language and images for intense feelings.
Between 9am and 3pm is when I work most intensely.
It's always good when women win things in fiction because it tends to be more male-dominated, unlike poetry, which is more equal.
Poetry and prayer are very similar.
Christmas is taken very seriously in this household. I believe in Father Christmas, and there's no way I'd do anything to undermine that belief.