Britain's 'poete maudit.'

He's been called the nearest thing that British poetry has to a major confessional poet, or, a genuine poete maudit. Critics have praised his technical finesse, wit and astuteness. It's also been said that 'to read him is to understand what it is to be male.' His latest book is called 'Blue Days: The Sailor's Return.' The award winning poet and critic himself - Alan Jenkins is today’s guest.


One thing my mother taught me…. When she was alive, that patience is a virtue (and that I didn’t have enough): when she died, that there is never enough time.

For me Paris is…. In general, art, beauty, the spirit that made a great and civilised understanding of life. At present, a woman who isn’t in my life any more, I see her everywhere.

My first thought when I wake up… is that I’m lucky to be alive.

My motto for life is….It’s always later than you think (see above.) On the other hand: nothing that is worth doing can be done in a hurry.

My main vice is…. Drink! And solitude. A bad combination.

On my gravestone they will write….Poet, lover of life? Or perhaps; he tried to give to others what they had given him?

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