Sunday, March 25, 2012

Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion was born in 1952. He began his career teaching English at the University of Hull. He has also been Editor of the Poetry Review, Editorial Director of Chatto & Windus, Poet Laureate, co-founded the Poetry Archive and was knighted for his services to literature in 2009. He is now Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London. His latest book is Silver: Return to Treasure Island.

From his Q & A with Boyd Tonkin at the Independent:

Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him

Edward Thomas... a great favourite all my reading life. Most poets give you a sense of having finished something; but his poems feel as if they still have the electricity running through them.
* * *

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Jim [from Stevenson's Treasure Island] – nature-loving, a bit bashful... ambitious to be in the world, but he doesn't quite know how.
* * *

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

George Mallory, the mountaineer – although I'm sharply aware that many things about him are complicated. He ends up courting death on Everest "because it's there", in the famous phrase, but also because he's driven by a longing for purity exacerbated by the terrible events of the First World War. It's a kind of survivor guilt. I'd like to shake his hand.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue