I don’t think of myself as a contrarian. I’m useless at confrontation. But I also can’t stand dogma, lazy ideas, catchphrases, group-think, illogic, pathos disguised as logos, shoutiness, ad hominem attacks, bombast, liberal piety, conservative pomposity, ideologues, essentialists, technocrats, preachers, fanatics, cheerleaders or bullies. Like everybody, I am often guilty of some version of all of the above, but I do think the job of writing is to at least try and minimise that sort of thing as much as you can.
-Zadie Smith answers your questions
Marlon Wobst, Grazie, 2016, Oil on canvas
I have a few poems that began life as dreams. I have this ambition to write down my dreams, but I don’t often manage it. I love the combination of ordinariness and weirdness that you find in dreams — it’s a good combination for poems, too. Actually, in my thesis, I try to compare the process of interpreting dreams with interpreting poems. The psychoanalytic mode of interpreting dreams involves picking out parts of the dream and free-associating what they bring to mind; that’s similar to interpreting poems. Freud said that there’s a point in every dream that is completely unfathomable, which you’ll never work out, and I think it’s the same with a poem.
Emily Berry on the subject of dreams in her phenomenal poetry collection, Stranger, Baby
From ‘Palliative Care‘ by Bean Gilsdorf via Open Space
Tracey Emin, It’s different when you are in love, 2016.
Stolen from my favourite Instagram (Katie Merchant’s account), an excellent quote from the equally excellent Pond by Claire Louise Bennett.