Generally where I am right now, in my study writing, but also in the garden. It is very uncomplicated.... (read more)
Our reading needs change, and the books we revisit constantly grow in number, but if I must choose, I will nominate Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics (1970) for the way it forced me to confront the ugly fact that the works of so many of the (male) writers I admired – specifically Norman Mailer, D.H. Lawrence, and Henry Miller – were predicated on a deep hatred of women. This changed me forever.... (read more)
Hours on each line, weeks on a stanza, months on the whole poem, but with long breaks between. Most poets spend most of their time not writing poetry, and it has to be this way.... (read more)
When young, I was smitten with the cricket writing of Neville Cardus. I’m bound to say that his sickly sentimentality and special pleading have not aged well.... (read more)
ABR: What qualities do you look for in an author?
CC: Someone anxious to say something to a reader, hopefully something they want to hear. Good writing, great writing, great use of words and imagination. Wit was always a way to my heart ...... (read more)
Lawrence Durrell. At fifteen, I loved his prose so much, I wanted to eat the book; now I want to chuck all that purple nonsense into the bin.... (read more)
It’s always about a question; the book is my attempt at answering it. The learning curve is what lures me to the desk each day.... (read more)
ABR: In your dealings with authors, what is the greatest pleasure – and challenge?
The greatest pleasure is helping authors make their work the best version of itself. There is no greatest challenge, I am glad to say, although sometimes expectations need to be ‘managed’.... (read more)
The act of writing impedes my writing. The books I write in my head are perfect. Unfortunately, translating them onto the page ruins them.... (read more)