Which poets have most influenced you?
You learn very different things from different poets, from formal aspects, some of them minute, to whole revelations about what a poem might be. This is always developing, and influences tend to come in waves or moments, with anthologies and magazines, subcultures and discoveries. But there are a lot of poets you keep going back to. You can learn from the astonishing ways Emily Dickinson ends a poem (End-grams?), or how Anna Akhmatova’s images are moving because they’re so commonplace: a shoe-heel, an ashtray, a train station. And influence is a free space, whatever is possible: what can you learn about strange conjunctions, like the Medieval and Dada, in Hugo Ball’s line: ‘Destruction was my Beatrice’? The closest influences are the adventures in poetics that one’s contemporaries are involved in.