‘A Leisure Centre is Also a Temple of Learning’ is still tying long-suffering A level students up in knots. In January, this blog received a cri de coeur from a nice person called Jane Dough who was being asked to concoct my biography from the evidence of that poem alone. ( Plus, I suppose, her trawls through the internet. )
Her question made me realise how little overt autobiography there is in my poems. Presumably the poet is lurking somewhere among the bizarre characters who throng the pages of Too Late for the Love Hotel and Safe Passage. But which of these people most resembles her? Where is this author’s true self to be found?
I have the huge pleasure this week of returning to read in Hertfordshire to one of the best audiences in the country, the wonderful Ware Poets. Anyone who follows their calendar will know what a great honour it is to be appearing on that list.
I have decided to try to answer Jane Dough’s question properly on Friday evening by trying for the first time to decode the hidden poet and unlock for this very special audience some of the middling dark secrets in my two published books. Though after these years of complex poetic subterfuge, I am probably not going to be courageous enough to live up to this admonition, spotted recently on a Venetian wall.