Can you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
It would have been at Primary School. No trace remains of it. Until the last year or so my main engagement with poetry has been reading and living that written by other people.
Name a favourite poem or two . . .
I copy poems that speak to me into notebooks. A random flick through reveals "Love" by Norman Leach, "Still Falls The Rain" by Edith Sitwell, "The Fool" by Padraig Pearse. Those will do for now.
. . . and a few of your favourite poets.
If I had to distill a "desert island" list it would be very difficult to leave out Adrienne Rich, John of the Cross, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Ted Hughes, RS Thomas and David Scott. I'm currently enjoying reading poems by Thomas Lynch and Helen Calcutt.
Do you talk about poetry with your friends or is it a secret part of your life?
I'm very happy to talk about it with friends. This most often happens while tramping the hills. It gives them a break from walking stories.
Do you write poetry for yourself, or for others, or for both?
I write initially for myself. It helps make sense of things and to see things in a different way from the reflective prose or preparing for preaching which are so much a part of my work. I am very happy to share with others, but worry about infliction.
Is it important to you if your poems get published or not?
The poems in The Passionate Transitory are the first poems I have had published. I have been writing poetry in a serious way for about a year. My wife sent me on a walking and writing workshop for my birthday; the encouragement and response I have received has given me the courage to write and to share. Seeing my poems in print has been a very deep and emotional experience, so, yes, publication is very important.
Do you think poetry is important in the global scale of things or just a pleasant, indulgent hobby like needlework or trainspotting?
What does poetry really mean to you?
Ways of seeing, of understanding, of living.
Is poetry better than sex?
This question is an invitation to exploration...