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The Linklater Effect


I’ve been thinking today about whether my experiences at Cove Park just before Easter have had an effect not only on the way I present my poetry but directly on my writing, and I believe the answer is yes.

On my Facebook page , I commented recently that, at the moment, I seem to be consisently writing longer pieces than was previously my habit. I also alluded to that when I wrote about the Chinese whispers experiment for Poetry Beyond Text. I’m talking about a switch from a tendency to write very short lyrics — say, mostly up to sonnet length — to a tendency to write pieces of 20, 30, 40 or more lines.

Of course, the fact that I have the writer’s bursary at the moment has a large bearing on that — without it, I wouldn’t have had the mental and creative space to develop so many slightly longer pieces in such a short stretch of time — but I suspect that the freeing of my physical voice at Cove has freed my poetic voice somewhat too.

At the very least, there is certainly a greater confidence there. The greater length of the pieces is only one aspect of that. My wife, who is my first reader, has noted that the recent poems seem more truly my voice than ever and the recent MacAdam poems are truly MacAdam. It’s an interesting and exciting observation. I hope the wider world agrees when the poems start to make their way out into it.

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