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An interview with Anthony Lawrence

by Australian Book Review
May 2022, no. 442

An interview with Anthony Lawrence

by Australian Book Review
May 2022, no. 442

Which poets have influenced you most?

The list is long, and takes the scenic route, from Homer to Hill, on to Plath
and Sexton, Murray, Adamson, and many I’ve forgotten. An overgrown path
with signposts lit or down, pressing on by star or map light, word of mouth
or accidental find. Influence is confluence, where shock of emotion
meets quiet thought. I follow leads, read every day, avoiding emoticons.

Are poems chiefly inspired or crafted?

Inspiration and craft can often be seen holding hands as they leave or enter
a wild space just out of reach of the intellect. Forest. Atoll. Some encounter
with a muse wearing a Royal spoonbill mask or a digger rolling a smoke
beside a grave. There’s little use resisting the poetic impulse when it breaks
from cover. You need to sign on. Go under. The subconscious is the better
vehicle every time. It’s self-hypnosis. Surrender to the ineffable. Craft can still
be applied while under the meniscus of awareness. Writing poetry is a spell.

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