My new collection (have I mentioned before that my new collection, The floorshow at the Mad Yak Café, is available from Red Squirrel Scotland?) contains poems set in China, Tibet, Italy, Lithuania, the Caucasus, and Scotland (of course), and in the internal landscapes of human relationships. The previous collection – Sushi & Chips – had a section reflecting a trip to Japan, and my second collection – Seven Senses – was largely concerned with spirit of place.
So place matters to me; it’s an important element in my choice of things to write about. It’s not the only thing, I hasten to add. I’m influenced by painting, sculpture, theatre, music, and the sciences I’ve studied in depth (list supplied on request). And above all by people. But place is there.
Some poets have written exclusively about a single place, their own country, their own home – original or adopted. It’s true that I often come back to Scotland’s variety and beauty as inspirations for my poetry, but the novelties experienced abroad are potent triggers for poems: active volcanoes in Iceland, WWI battlefields in France and Belgium, a concentration camp in the Czech Republic. It’s usually not an immediate reaction; sometimes poems will emerge years after an adventure. I’m off to Southern Italy soon, and I’ve no idea what will come from that.
What about you? Does place matter to you? What places feature in your writing?