Thursday, 21 May 2020

Rory Waterman : part one

Rory Waterman was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1981, and lives in Nottingham, England, where he is on the English faculty at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of three collections from Carcanet Press: Tonight the Summer’s Over (2013), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize in 2014; Sarajevo Roses (2017), which was shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize 2019; and Sweet Nothings, published in May 2020. He is also the author of several books on poetry, writes regular criticism for a number of publications, and co-edits New Walk Editions. His website is

Why is poetry important?

I’ve asked myself a version of this question quite a lot lately – mainly in the context of my own poetry. There’s nothing like a global pandemic and all its future ramifications to make writing a poem seem like a futile endeavour. It sometimes feels like this is situation impossible to write about while we are all in it, and yet I can’t imagine myself writing about anything else at the moment, at least obliquely or aslant. Nonetheless, I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. At its infrequent best, poetry is a rich form of communication, a complex interchange – and we need that more than ever.

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