Thursday, 11 June 2020

Rory Waterman : part four

How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?

I always share almost everything, as I write it, with the American poet Nicholas Friedman. He knows how to bully me into doing better, and I try to do the same for him. Various versions of the typescript of my third collection, Sweet Nothings – which is being published by Carcanet in May – were also read by Anjna Chouhan, William Ivory and Alan Jenkins. Alan is a superb poet and editor. The other two are neither of these things: Anjna is a Shakespearean scholar and Billy a screenwriter. They’re great readers, tuned in to what I try to do, who aren’t afraid to tell me what they think. They also represent, to some extent, the non-poet audience I’m after, so I feel safer letting the book go now they have seen it. My editor Michael Schmidt is instrumental too. He made one small suggestion for Sweet Nothings that changed everything for the better. Poetry is not, for me, a collective endeavour, and I don’t trust the opinions of most people. But I’m lucky to have these ones to rely on.

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