I like my relationship with words best in poetry, and am finding myself more activist-minded than in previous decades.

I write mainly poetry, though I have written reams of reviews and reports and even a few stories, three of which have been published.

My mother’s encouragement was crucial, I think, to my decision to become a poet. Before I could read, I was read to every night. In childhood, I spent some time at home with asthma, and like many kids in this situation read voraciously. If you are impressed by poetry, it’s surely natural to write poems.

I’m continually surprised by the way ideas flower, change, form something living and new as you word them. I think it’s what I do best. You’ve got to give something to the world – poetry is my offering.

Copyright affirms the dignity of the work of writing. Morerover, people who construct large works of literature and feed the minds of so many, deserve to live from it, whether or not they become performers by reading and discussion.

Poets don’t do well in this, even if they review, blog and talk continuously. Having a salaried job is probably a good substitute for being the hanger-on of funded-up nobility – as poets of the past have often been – the only remnant of this system is national traditions like the English Poet Laureate and the Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress in the US.

The English position is honorary except for – is it a keg of ale? The prestige of poets has largely disappeared in our society – I think many are mystified by people who fiddle with words – but it’s amazing how many people treasure words from poems learned in childhood, and from songs and how many aspire to write them.