7 thoughts on “The Authors Show – A New Asylum interview

  1. I just listened to your interview. Several comments stood out for me. One, that every life is extraordinary and has a story worth telling. Another that poetry enables you to tell complex stories in simple words. (I’m starting to explore this in my own writing.) When I read The New Asylum, I was very much struck by its role as social history, so it was good to hear you address that. Here in the US, as bad as the mental institutions were, when they were closed down in the 1970s, there were some very negative unintended consequences. My final comment is surprise that you could submit poems in school in lieu of essays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t gotten to listen to the finished product yet, Liz. I best get to it soon. Been very busy.

      To respond.

      . I have at different times persuaded and re-persuaded myself that I am surrounded by stories. The task is to recognise them as such and then to present them. That means, the smallest and meanest of moments have to be worthy of a moment in the sunlight, so long as I can see them and give a little attention to them. It’s a bit of a conceit, but also a heartfelt belief that all the small things and the small lives are worth their story, and can be made interesting.

      . Less is more, is such a thing! When I write in prose I’m at risk of long-windedness, every time, and what I find is that extra words don’t value-add. In my case, at least. The seventeen syllable work with clouds and a few other areas has shown me that a lot can be conveyed in little more than the thought expressed on paper. Keep exploring. It’s well worth it. I tend to shy away from established ‘forms’, in favour of content, but it can all work well.

      . There were enormous losses when we closed the asylums, but at the same time no doubt at all that they needed to go. Our failures were partly that replacement services weren’t up to the job, and partly that society changed. I’m persuaded now that there is no way of providing for the drug addicted insane during their active’using’ life. The pull of the substance outweighs the sanity or part-sanity of treatment.

      . Getting away with submitting the poem, and more – being applauded for it – was the key, I think. If it had been a requirement I likely wouldn’t have done what I did. The slightly illicit held great appeal.

      So glad you took so much from the interview. It was a ‘not easy’ task, with considerable preparation and more uncertainty involved. I better go listen to the product, so I know what was done with the raw material.

      Liked by 1 person

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