Claire Dyer is a fine poet and novelist who I first met at a launch reading for The Interpreter’s House. She seems to be one of those people who quietly produce one good book after another, without any of the kind of angsty fuss some of us like to indulge in. If you get a chance to hear her read, do so, she has a relaxed but commanding style. Here’s how she responded to ‘Seven Questions’…
1 – What was the last poetry book you read, that you would recommend?
Slant Light by Sarah Westcott (Liverpool University Press, 2016)
2 – What would be your ideal place for a writing retreat?
Somewhere quiet and near the sea.
3 – Do you enter poetry competitions?
4 – If someone has never read any poetry, where would you suggest they start?
I’d suggest they read ‘Ode to Autumn’ by John Keats and The Mersey Sound by McGough, Henri and Patten.
5 – You’re asked to give a reading at the Royal Festival Hall, to thousands of people. What goes through your mind?
I’d panic, worry about tripping over my feet as I walked across the stage but then once behind the mic and lectern, I hope I’d think I’m just at home rehearsing in front of my cats as is my wont!
6 – Can you remember the first poem you wrote – what was it about?
Yes, it was about being stuck in the lounge at my grandmother’s house and not being allowed out to play. I can’t remember why I’d been told to stay indoors, maybe it looked like it might rain, or something like that!
7 – A murmuration of starlings, a murder of crows etc – what would you call a group of poets?
A doubt of poets!
QUICK PLUG: Claire’s novels are published by Quercus and her latest collection, Interference Effects, is due from Two Rivers Press in October 2016. She also runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service.