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.

Originally Published: September 30th, 2008

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...

  1. September 30, 2008
     Ange Mlinko

    Lavinia Greenlaw, I wish you would write more. Your posts make me feel less alone. -- Ange

  2. September 30, 2008
     Joseph Hutchison

    "Read poems, not poets" is as a good a prescription. I wonder what would become of the current leading lights if we all applied that standard.

  3. September 30, 2008

    I doubt they would dim, Joseph.