Being a poet: Lavinia Greenlaw, David Harsent, Emma Jones & Ahren Warner

Filed under: Poetry

Poets David Harsent and Lavinia Greenlaw speak to young poets Emma Jones and Ahren Warner.

T.S. Eliot once said that he could understand wanting to write poetry, but not wanting to ‘be a poet’. With this observation in mind, two well established poets,David Harsent and Lavinia Greenlaw, introduce two of the younger poets they most admire. Emma Jones grew up in Sydney, and her first book, The Striped World (Faber, 2009), won the Forward Prize for First Collection and the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award. Ahren Warner’s first collection, Confer (Bloodaxe, 2011), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and was a Poetry Book Society recommendation. In an evening combining reading and discussion, they reflect on who and what first drew them to poetry, and whether their work relies more on discipline or inspiration. And they ask tough, practical questions: how does a young poet go about getting work published? How important is it to have an agent? What are the pros and cons of self-publishing? And is it possible to make a living from poetry?