Really pleased to have a poem in the latest issue of Poemeleon, the theme of which is right up my street – persona poems. I love the way in which all the contributors are asked to reflect and comment on the theme – it offers a fascinating insight into their approach to their work, their preoccupations and influences.

Here’s what I decided to say in my introductory comments:

“Many of my poems are dramatic monologues. In the first half of the 1990’s, I worked as a playwright and I drew on my experience of writing in different voices and capturing different rhythms and speech patterns when I first turned to poetry. Now, as a regular reader and performer of my own work, I find that writing persona poems can be a very effective way of engaging, and connecting with, the audience. As far as influences go, The World’s Wife, Carol Ann Duffy’s collection of dramatic monologues, in which she gives voice to the wives/sisters/mothers of various famous/infamous men (Mrs Freud, Mrs Aesop, Mrs Darwin etc.) had a big impact on me when it was first published back in 1999. It’s a collection that I still return to now – both for pleasure and as a workshop tool when I’m tutoring students.”

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