What was there before poetry?
I hadn't read much poetry when I started writing, but I quickly found a few books that I really loved - the fierce and sexy Dorothy Porter; a feisty Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko - and that was it, really. There's an intensity to both of those poets - personal and political - that was really important to me at the time. I was a very intense teenager - I'd like to say that I've outgrown that, but I'm not sure that I ever did - and it was a rare occurrence for me to find that intensity matched. But I also found poetry a really playful form, or a form with a lot of room for humour and surprise, I'm still having a lot of fun with those things.