While also importantly not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of ‘difficult’ poetry are over because we live in a pluralist culture and there’s room for ‘difficult’ poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won’t be for everyone but everyone should have the choice.
Those who say we should dismantle the role of Poet Laureate altogether the trick they miss is that being called this thing with the weight of tradition behind it and with the association of the Royal family does allow you to have conversations and to open doors and wallets for the good of poetry in a way that nothing else would allow.
Poetry is at the centre of my life too emotionally speaking and intellectually speaking – it’s just that I’m one of those people who enjoy doing other stuff as well.
I’m not precisely saying that a really good board meeting at the MLA (Museums Libraries and Archives Coucil) makes me want to go and write poetry but there is a pleasure in doing that sort of thing well.
In a general way I want to be a kind of flag-waver bunting hanger-up drum-beater you name it for poetry.
Thanks partly to the kind of poets that we now have and partly to funding there’s been a gigantic shift in the way poetry is perceived… Poems on the Underground poets in schools football clubs zoos.
I wanted to reimagine the role in a way that was respectful of its traditional responsibilities but made them part of a wider pattern of poetry about national incidents events preoccupations and to spend a great deal of time going to schools trying to demystify poetry.
More people are reading poetry now than at any time in the history of the human race.