I was thirteen when Margaret Thatcher came to power and twenty-four when she left. During those years I argued with my Dad about the Falklands and visited the family of a friend in Northern Ireland where I saw the state of things there first hand.
I was paid a visit at FE College by a striking miner from the Midlands who gave a different version of events from those on the TV news. I lost my rag when General Pinochet came to tea at number ten. I went on a demo to protest at cuts to the NHS. I attended an anti-apartite concert at Wembley.
I was at home in North London when my housemate came back with a broken nose after being hit with a truncheon whilst by-standing at the Poll tax riots; he had honestly gone to spectate, the silly unfortunate boy.
I’m mentioning all this because the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death yesterday has brought back a lot of memories and memories often end up as poems. In fact almost all of the events above have turned up in my poems over the years, most of them unpublished and as yet unshared.
Kim Moore has published the first in a series of interviews today with poets who are working on their first full poetry collections, beginning with an interview on my forthcoming book for Shoestring, ‘The Sun Bathers.’ As Kim, who is much younger than I am says at the beginning of her blog, it seemed she ought to say something and not ignore Margaret Thatcher’s passing. Since I wanted to post a link to Kim’s interview here I thought I would share some memories.
Kim asked some great questions that had me thinking hard about various aspects of assembling the book. She has planned a whole set of interviews with poets from different presses, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
You can read the interview here.