As systems and assumptions collapse, desperate ideas have a better chance of becoming popular.
I’ve produced a lot of words over the last two decades. This is not an archive of all of them, but you might call it the edited highlights.
It includes reportage from Britain and the wider world, book reviews, interviews, debates, talks and other ephemera, culled from Fleet Street papers, magazines, books, the programmes of plays, websites and more.
Some time ago I also put together some advice for writers, and thoughts on the writing life.
A book that influenced me: Thor Heyerdahl’s volume of reminiscences
The differing fates of two dialect poets may tell us something about the differing priorities of England and Scotland.
The crisis currently playing out on the world stage is a crisis of growth. Not, as we are regularly told, a crisis caused by too little growth, but by too much of it
Suicide is everywhere in this culture, under every stone, and once you come to be a part of that great, unspeaking clan of people who have been touched by it, you see this.
The late Glyn Hughes summed up his work – the historical novels, the travel books, the semi-autobiographies, the volumes of poetry – as ‘a protest on behalf of nature’.
Can poetry save the Earth? No. But it is, perhaps, able to show us the Earth – and our relationship to it – in a way we are not used to seeing it.