In Person - Questions for Andrew Taylor
by Christi Kochifos Caceres
Andrew Taylor is an English poet and co-editor of erbacce and erbacce-press. He has a PhD in Poetry and Poetics. His work has recently appeared in Calliope Nerve, Durable Goods, MUST and The Journal of Heroin Love Songs; and he has a photo exhibit at The Camel Saloon. By day he can be found doing research and development for a design studio. He knows more about himself than he thinks…
How would you begin your day if you had no obligations or obstacles?
A cup of tea. I really need that before I do anything. It’s like a kick after sleeping.
What do you sleep in?
Boxers and a T- shirt.
What is your drink of choice?
Depends upon the time of day… some evenings, Famous Grouse and ice. Tonight it’s a cup of Earl Grey.
Where is your ideal home?
Pretty much where I am. I’ve always been in North West England. I’m in the greater Liverpool area.
What do you wish you did not have to do?
(Hmm, it sounds like I’m quite happy but…)
Go to work. It’s mostly about having to be somewhere at a certain time and dealing with intense deadlines.
What is your best time of day?
I think late at night and first thing in the morning. I really like those last few minutes just before sleep.
What do you consider to be the ultimate luxury?
Oh. Um, I’m not really into luxury. Probably the things that help me get on with life – phone, computer. I’ve got a nice watch, a nice pen, a dependable car. I wouldn’t have a luxurious car or house.
Who are a few of your favorite artists?
There are so many. Start with painters, visual artists, I’d say Jackson Pollock. And Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread. Literature, there’re so many great poets. Tom Raworth, Robert Sheppard. Charles Bukowski’s marvelous; he re-ignited my interest in poetry. The Liverpool Poets were an inspiration to me as a teenager. They made poetry more accessible – brought it off the bookshelves. Music – I’m a child of the 80’s so The Smiths, Morrissey, Echo & the Bunnymen. I’m going to see them soon for the 29th time. New Order. I like a bit of everything – Sinatra, jazz, Miles Davis. I like some of the new post-classical musicians such as Greg Haines.
What do you consider to be your gift?
I don’t know, to be honest. Being taught to read poetry – it’s equally important to being taught to write it. I do that well – teach people to read it. It’s like any art, you have to know how to look at it, read it, before you can do it.
What bugs you the most about other people?
Intolerance - of anything really. You’ve got to give people some level of understanding. And we have to give of our time, be helpful. I once had a submission of poems from a kid, he’d done everything wrong in terms of submitting his work. Rather than just disregard the submission I wrote him a letter and told him how it should be done. It just took me a few minutes… and hopefully it will help him in the future.
What do you wish you could stop doing?
Working so hard. I wish I could just switch it off, relax more.
What helps you feel balanced in your life?
It sounds contradictory but…work. Having a busy life, whatever it is we’re doing – writing, research, writing letters - it helps us feel grounded, and alive.
What will be the title of your biography?
I don’t know – I hadn’t thought about that. Probably, Work, Work, and More Work.
Or, He’s Got To Switch It Off. I’ve actually been working on an autobiographical poem. It’s called Ladies and Gentlemen: Mogwai.
Have you met your perfect partner?
Uh, no. It’s difficult. Without going into too much detail… I think it’s impossible really. Maybe for spots of time (as Wordsworth said). But even if you do find the perfect thing, the perfect person, then there’s the horribleness of mortality.
What question have I not asked that you would like to answer?
Which football club do I support.
Ah, of course… Which football club do you support?
Everton. There are two clubs in Liverpool. Everton and Liverpool. We don’t talk about Liverpool. I love Everton. It's a family thing. "Once a blue always a blue."