INTERVIEW WITH MARC WOODARD
“Who is your favourite poet and why?”
Marc“…can any poet ever name just one writer?”
See Marc along with Andy Brown on Monday the 5th of October at Exeter University, Queen’s Building, Senior Common Room, The Queen’s Drive EX4 4QH. 5.30 – 7.00pm, for the ‘Poetry and Musical Duo.’
Over the past few days, our own Madeleine Sharma has been conducting online interviews with poets associated with this year’s Poetry Festival . Marc had some advice for aspiring poets and how best to enjoy the process.
Marc is not only a poet, but also a singer and mandolinist, so it is no surprise that his “‘serious’ stuff is probably lyric poetry”, being such a talented musician. But he states that he “balance[s] that [out] with pithier more humorous pieces.”
“Hard to say because I started writing poems as a child” he responded, when asked what his first poem was (and I am sure this is something many of us identify with). As his “first childhood ambition was to be a poet” it is hardly a surprise that Marc’s new anthology “A Fright of Jays” (Maquette, 2015) is on sale now, and shall be read from on the 5th.
He says that “Sometimes I’ll make a conscious effort to write but mostly an idea just pops into my head – and that is usually when I’m bored!”. It is common, amongst writers that the best of their works come to them spontaneously and randomly. However, Marc claims that he will often be ” researching something on Wikipedia for example, and start following random links… and seeds get planted!” which I am sure is something we’ve all done whilst procrastinating on the dreaded internet.
For those of you with “short attention spans”, Marc thinks Poetry is for you. “A good poem is like a polished jewel” he said “that can be read again and again. If a novel is a day a poem is the high point of that day.”, which frankly I think is a teaser of the great writing to come this Monday. “and novels are soo long!” he comically adds.
“Do you have a favourite line you have ever written?” Maddy asked.
“Not really but I was (smugly!) pleased with the line from Eel Catching” it seems that Marc enjoys incorporating punny plays of words with his poetry. “where I describe a wriggling eel as being ‘in tongues before the priest’ – anglers know the ‘priest’ is the name given to a small cudgel used to dispatch the catch… non anglers probably miss the wordplay.” Here Marc is showing how much thought goes into composing a poem. The sublte humours and intelligent wordplay can be missed by many and just appear to be interesting metephors, but there can also be much more behind it.
But according to Marc, the hardest part about writing poetry is “Knowing when it’s finished and conversely not knowing when it isn’t!”. and when pushed to give us some names of his favourite Poets, he admitted his love for “Larkin, Hughes, the Thomases…even Bukowski when I’m in the mood, and Devon’s own Andy Brown!” So what a treat that he will get to perfom with him on the 5th.
Author: Elsbeth Beard
Interviewer: Madeleine Sharma.