There's an interesting thread going on at the moment over at the Poets on Fire Forum, discussing "Travel and Inspiration". Most participants seem to be concentrating on the writing that arises directly from a trip, while my angle is more that travel gives us a counterpoint to home, especially if we immerse ourselves in a new society. In other words a trip often leads us to write with a different perspective about where we've set out from.
Tobias Hill might have written well about his time in Japan, but I would argue that his travels more than anything strengthened his vision of London, as has been shown by his later collections. Going back to myself, I do write about Spain, but home is still the U.K.. My view of British society has certainly been sharpened by my time on the Iberian peninsula and by visits to many other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Russia and the U.S. on work (in another life I'm the export manager for an Extremaduran winery), especially those occasions when I've become involved in local life rather than just attending a trade fair.
On this same theme, I'm off back to the U.K. myself for a few days next week. Once more, travel and inspiration...?
The shortlist for the 25th TS Eliot Prize has been announced, and it's heartening to see a book from Nine Arches Press, Jacqueline Saphra's excellent *All ...