Prac Crit

Features

Ruth Padel

“...you go down deep into yourself and the past, and it’s hard – you might see ghosts, or worse things than ghosts, which are in you. That’s where the poems are going to come from; good stuff comes out of the dark.”

Emily Berry

“I didn’t always want to write these poems and at times it felt a bit like... being sick... There’s this disharmony between what a poem is meant to be – beautiful, transcendent – and the actual wretchedness of its source.”

Hoa Nguyen

“There’s something about a hovering poem or a poem that can occupy its own space that I find satisfying for me as a reader when I encounter them, or as when I listen to a song. There is craft and there is decision making. Art is about making decisions.”

Ocean Vuong

“It felt truer to enact that invasion, to allow a collapse of form, rather than starting over and writing a more polished piece about either subject. I felt this rupture to be, in a sense, a culmination of everything I was working toward.”

Conor Carville

“We’d stay a few hours then drive back home, and on the way there would inevitably be an army checkpoint, paratroopers in camouflage facepaint with carbines and walki-talkies. After that we’d rush on so as to get back in time to see Dr Who...”

Harmony Holiday

“I will never be one to use form in the ways that some poets do, because of my dance background. The body should move, and the poem should move like the body. The body doesn’t move in couplets, for me.”

Alan Hollinghurst

“I suppose I always had the idea that gay sexuality was essentially innocent, even though it’s almost universally been stigmatized and criminalized. But actually it was innocent and natural...”

Rachael Allen

“On Tuesday 10th March 1914, Mary Richardson entered London's National Gallery with a cleaver hidden up the sleeve of her coat. She circulated the gallery’s rooms for a short while, before coming to rest in front of Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus...”

Vidyan Ravinthiran

“And my background also makes me sceptical about the type of unified poetic voice we’re all supposed to be trying to discover within ourselves. ‘The modern poet’s progress myth’, Adam Phillips calls ‘the voice’.”

Kate Potts

“Dictionaries are all about preservation and loss, and I think it’s probably possible to see the ‘Dictionary of Magic’ poems as trying to call forth and/or deal with ghosts in some ways. Although I think that applies to a lot of my poems.”