Can you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
The first poem I wrote was called "The Tramp".
And how old you were when you wrote it?
I was 16 years old. I wrote it in a isolation ward of the City Hospital, Truro, after nearly dying with virus pneumonia.
And what it was about?
The death of a tramp written in rhyming couplets and it was very twee.
Name a favourite poem or two . . .
"The Gift Of The Sea" (Rudyard Kipling), "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (Dylan Thomas), "The Flooding Of Wheal Owles" (William Herbert Thomas).
. . . and a few of your favourite poets.
Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti – and I enjoy reading poetry from Cornish poets.
Do you talk about poetry with your friends or is it a secret part of your life?
Of course I talk about poetry, isn't that what we are doing now? It's impossible to keep the poetry way of life a secret.
Do you write poetry for yourself, or for others, or for both?
Is it important to you if your poems get published or not?
It is very important to get my poems published; first of all in magazines, which gives the poem credence from an authority linked to poetry. Followed by publication in a collection, which is the icing on the cake.
Do you think poetry is important in the global scale of things or just a pleasant, indulgent hobby like needlework or trainspotting?
Poetry is important on a global scale, it is a means of communication, it helps to make friends around the world.
What does poetry really mean to you?
I get personal satisfaction from writing poetry. I'm proud to be the founder editor of Poetry Cornwall. Recognition for the books of poetry I've written is rewarding. I also enjoy reciting poetry in performance and every day I read poetry new to me.
Is poetry better than sex?
It does rather depend on the climax . . .