with Peter Hague:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Peter: My first experiences with serious writing came in 1972, inspired by the work of Leonard Cohen. At that time, I was well aware of his music, but I saw a copy of his book: ‘The energy of Slaves’ in a shop window and bought it. I then bought all of his books – poetry and novels, which many will be surprised to learn, go back to the mid-1950s. I found his style deeply intriguing and often laced with humour. I was a student then, miles from home and starting to explore a sudden new world. I think Cohen’s work filled in some of the blank spaces and energised a new creativity in me.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Peter: I have no current influences. I think that I have found my voice now, after all this time and continue to develop it. However, I am still greatly motivated by all the true and worthy influences I have had over the years. Shortly after Leonard Cohen, I discovered T.S Eliot and many more. These people still influence me today: Wallace Stevens; Kathleen Raine; Anne Sexton; Sylvia Plath; Philip Larkin; Robert Lowell; Edward Thomas – many more.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Peter: I grew up in the North of England but I do not consider myself to be a “northern poet”. I spent a period of my early life in the south west, which seems much further away than it is now, and I think the outcome of that developed the idea that it was best to try to be international. I feel more comfortable using my words to reach a wide range of people and I have always associated myself with America. I have also always been interested in the bold national diversities of European countries and their traditions. Individuals worldwide are for the most part, very similar in needs and ambition and although this can help to simplify the message, it offers the need for deeper creativity and a broader brush.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Peter: Well, the answer to that will always be my poetry, especially now I have decided to devote the remaining years of my life to it. I spent most of my life in the world of visual arts, as a creative director, and also a recent decade as a digital artist, using the art name ‘e-brink’. You can see my updated web site covering that period at: www.e-brink.co.uk. However, throughout the years I have always continued to write and study poetry and have completely redesigned my main web site, which is now all about my current writing. The address is https://www.peterhague.com. This is me finally putting my writing first and I have a great deal to offer, with more books already in production featuring both new and old work.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Peter: I think that goes back to when I had just left school and worked briefly as a painter and decorator. I remember being up a ladder painting a gutter when I suddenly had an epiphany (partly guided by ideas from my Mother). I promptly decided to apply to the local Art School, which I did – that was the start of it – two years of revelation. I later spent three years at The West of England College of Art in Bristol (School of Art and Design – UWE Bristol) doing a graphic design course.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Peter: I have been known to read.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Peter: I’ve just published two books of poetry and will be spending some time promoting them. ‘Hope in the Heart of Hatred’ is intended to be a bridging book between the work I am doing now and my early work. ‘Gain of Function’ is my very latest work. It features one hundred and two poems, some of which have been published in various places, including Twitter and your very own, Fevers of the Mind.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0976BLVNL
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
As the first wave rebounds
from the squalor of population,
we wear its shadow
like a stiff, new coat.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Peter: Throughout my life I have always returned to writing and I have tried hard to perfect what I do with it. Editing is the main part of everything I do and I have learnt so much from revising my own work. Therefore, I think I would have to say to this question that I mostly helped myself. Having said that, all the influences mentioned above and my study of their work has been priceless. Being a writer is not easy though. There is a definite sense, real or imagined, that the world is pushing back. You really have to be confident in your own talent and purpose to keep going. Having done so, over the years, I now have complete confidence in my work.
Bio: Peter Hague has written and studied poetry for most of his life and apart from being published in magazines like ‘The Interpreter’s House’ he is now posting some of his work on Twitter. Two books of collected work are in production now and are expected in the coming weeks. He is also working on a new website, dedicated to his writing. He is also associated with the art name ‘e-brink’ and has a gallery of digital art at: http://www.e-brink.co.uk.