Read the foreign and the dead
I grew up in a house full of books and made my way through the shelves.
There wasn’t much else to do.
I didn’t have a clue who anyone was, so I read poems not poets.
Those who formed me were from mythical places: Eastern Europe (lurking behind the Iron Curtain) and America (lurking behind the album cover and cinema screen).
They took me outside and so I got to see in.
Lavinia Greenlaw has published three books of poems, most recently Minsk. Her two novels are Mary George of Allnorthover and An Irresponsible Age and she has also published a memoir, The Importance of Music to Girls. Her work for BBC radio includes programs about the Arctic, the Baltic, the solstices...