Where can I buy your books?
My first two books, ‘Out on A Limb’ and ‘Absences and Celebrations’, have long been out of print and only secondhand copies can be obtained; try Google. I have no personal stock of them. Some of the poems in these collections appeared in ‘New and Selected Poems’, see below.
‘Flints’, ‘Settlements’, ‘A Holding Action’ and ‘New and Selected Poems’ were all published by Peterloo Poets. Peterloo Poets has now ceased trading, but still has a website through which copies may be ordered, and in addition all these titles appear to be available through Amazon. Alternatively, I have a personal stock of all these and can supply direct; email me if interested.
My latest collection, ‘No Through Road’, is now available from The Greenwich Exchange – see ‘News’ page.
‘The Planet Happiness’ was printed by The Gruffyground Press, a small private press run by Anthony Baker. Copies are still obtainable from http://www.theoldschoolpress.com/ppuk/gruffygroundpress.htm . Note, however, that all the poems in this subsequently appeared in ‘A Holding Action’.
Would you consider giving readings of your work/giving interviews/appearing at festivals/participating in poetry workshops/visiting schools/writing reviews/critiquing other people’s poems/judging competitions?
Sorry, no. I just write the stuff.
How do you write your poems?
Most of my poems have been composed, or at least had their genesis, on walks in the countryside. I need space and solitude for the act: poetry for me is not a door that two can pass together. I have never been involved in poetry workshops, though I have profited much from the counsel and judgments of a few poet friends. I am very reluctant to counsel anyone myself, seeing myself as one of life’s learners rather than teachers, in addition to which I have no gift for hypocrisy and no taste for unkindness, a combination liable to place a poet in an awkward situation.
Do you keep any working drafts of your poems?
No. I like every so often to burn the accumulated dross of my drafts and rejects under a full moon at midnight, covering the ashes with three spadefuls of earth. My wife says she sometimes wonders what she married, but I say ‘Look, woman, some people turn into werewolves, I just burn poems, OK?’
Can I use your poems?
You are welcome to make what private use you want of my poems, but if you are going to quote from them or reproduce them in any way please do make sure that the words are exactly as I wrote them. Neglect and abuse poets can live with; being misquoted really really annoys them.
If you want to use my poems in a good, i.e. charitable, cause then again you are welcome to, and I would normally waive my part of any fee. I would quite like to be told about it though.
If you want to make commercial use of my poems, please contact me. I sometimes hear of them appearing in anthologies or newspapers, or being used in exam papers or verse-speaking competitions. This is gratifying, but it would be still more gratifying if I were notified of it, and perhaps even slipped the odd fiver. Payment should be by personal cheque (to D.J.Sutton) in pounds sterling (email me for payment address).
Will there ever be a ‘Collected Poems’?
There now is! Just been published by Greenwich Exchange (Mar 2019) – see News page for details.
What advice would you give to a young poet?
Not to be understood by those that love you –
Vexatious certainly, but there is worse:
Not to be loved by those that understand you
And friend, if you would suffer both, write verse.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!