The Poetic Impulse: Where do poets get their inspiration?

The Poetic Impulse event took place on November 15th and aimed to take an exploration into the drivers of poetical creativity by four different poets from the North of England: Martin Domleo, Vince Smith, Nick Williams and Gordon Aindow.

The first to speak was Martin Domleo.

He began by explaining how he believed the barrier between science and the arts was blurred and that lots of poets get inspired by science. His confidence was knocked when a school teacher accused him of copying his own poem from someone else after writing a Christmas card.

A lot of Martin’s inspiration was drawn from the Peak District, as he only lived a bicycle ride away from it and spent a lot of time there.He said that he was a painter as well as a novelist and he understood that imagery has a large part to play within poetry. He proceeded to tell us about a place in Morecambe bay called the Sunderland Point and that it was a inspirational setting for poetry.

Next up was Vincent Smith, whose writing includes a novel and an unpublished travellers’ guide to English architectural heritage.Vincent became interested in poetry at the tender age of 9, when he began reading some out of curiosity. He said he got an immediate interest in ‘abstract poetry’ because, even though he didn’t understand it, he felt emotionally involved in the texts.

When he presented his work to publishers later on in life, they told him to ‘drag himself out of the nineteenth century’ adding that poets didn’t write like ‘that’ anymore. However, he said that those comments never made him lose his love for writing.

He believes his best writing came at 21, after he experienced his first love. Yet, it was only when he got heartbroken that he felt an urge to write about it: “I had a desire to prolong it. It’s not quite over when you write about it. You preserve it.”

Vincent ended his talk by mentioning how his mother’s death became the first time he felt an urge to write about someone else’s death. He left the audience with a reading of his sonnet inspired by it, called “Speaking to Mother”.

When Nick Williams gave a talk, he stated that he was a new age traveller.The former art and design student explained it was then he started to realise that in terms of creativity writing could be a happy medium.

His first poem was about Easter Island because he found the whole mystery around it as a focus point.He stated that “it takes time” to write poetry.

“Those ideas of being a voice are intensely in me”, Nick said of his love for expressing himself .Lastly came Preston based poet Gordon Aindow, who has been writing poems and short stories for five years.

Gordon spoke of how his physical longing to a past memory deriving from nostalgia is the main source of inspiration for his writing, but admitted that sometimes translating that feeling into words proves a challenge. He goes through a process of “interrogating the facts and gathering evidence” in the hopes this logical approach will translate his feelings into their truest meaning possible.

He finishes off his talk by going over his last step of his writing process: “I ask myself: does it read, sound and feel true to you? Anyone else feeling what I feel is a bonus.”

Words by Emily Vass and Amy Vieira

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