Which of your books has more of an Essex focus?

Dante’s Inferno (Carcanet 2014) has an Essex focus, relocating Dante’s Inferno to the University of Essex and environs.  A new book of poems out from Carcanet this June, Quennets,  also has an Essex focus.


Which aspects of Essex do you write about?

One part of Quennets records in poetry a number of walks along Essex estuaries – the book’s a kind of mix of experimental poetry, psychogeography, and nature writing.

Why do you like writing about Essex?

People think of Essex as bland, that it has nothing to offer the writer – but I find the opposite is true.

Are there books about Essex you’d recommend?

Ken Worpole’s 150 Miles.

Name your favourite Essex place, person or whatever.

Ted Berrigan – he’s American, but he was a visiting professor at the University of Essex in the 1970s, and is one of many great writers who have spent time in Essex and left their mark.


Ted Berrigan: ‘one of many great writers who have spent time in Essex’

One tip for writers who want to write about people and places

Try to let them catch you unawares.