I'll be at James Haworth's show at 320 Church St, on Thursday 3rd April from 6pm to 7pm. To get tickets please contact me online at [email protected]
Note to readers: please visit the above linked page for additional information on TOMI RITCHIE
James Haworth is a writer, poet, director, and performer in London. He has performed and hosted several poetry nights for Grannies + Bros (also host of shows for Tender Laughter) and performs regularly at The Brit School. He is currently producing and performing a musical adaptation of his autobiographical play, Welcome To The Hip, with music by Marcia Whitby. He has just released his first major hit.
James writes poetry and features and reviews more than a few books.
James is an experienced poet who is currently recording a reading at The Booksmith London on 6th April.
While at the Coronet Theatre
I spoke to James about his new release and his poems, as well as a few of the characters he uses in his work and what they would make of him, if you ask me.
When reading you often find the words move you on several levels, how did you approach finding a subject that stirred you as it spoke to you so deeply that you couldn’t stop reading and writing?
Usually in a lyrical kind of way but almost literally reading a book or reading a poem is a really awful idea – there is something about the immediacy of it that is just painful, so I try to choose ‘feel’ rather than ‘sound’ poems. I tend to think of them as personal records or memoirs, trying to evoke the experience of being in the writing – and hopefully I keep it around long enough so they are completely not my ‘record’.
How is your work different from your past work? What stands out in your work compared to say other styles, for example what went into the Chatham book?
I’m not aware of a big difference to my past work, or about why I seem to write that way any more. It does occur to me that I try to remember more than anything about things that happened in my life. All things, I suspect, can be personal recordings: there’s a myth that all poems are real things written on the back of fags, that sort of thing.
I’ve also done a piece about the cycle of the rise and fall of men, I think is resonant at the moment; they are the ‘broken’ men of the poem. Also an increasing awareness of the dreams of feminism, it’s such a big ask. I do sometimes look back at some of my earlier poems in a slightly naïve way and think that I probably erred – but perhaps just because it’s the same scenario again. I mean I love Jungian narratives and I like to think I’m definitely part of this unconscious questing that I don’t really know how to explain. I guess I’m starting to make a nice line that I guess it’s all pretty fucked up.
Some of your poems are really moving and show very sad and anguished emotions, for example the last poem in your book On A Wet September day . What part of your writing process goes into this?
I don’t really know how to answer this. I don’t think about how to express emotion, I just think ‘is this interesting, is it where I want to go?’ They are hard poems, the ones where I would come to bed and think ‘should I write it more, should I keep it more?’ I don’t write to have an audience before, I write for myself, the things that fascinate me and excite me. Sometimes I think I don’t know how to write anything. I would really like to turn off my brain, but this is probably a bit strange to suggest in relation to poetry. I do love using the lines, though. I was feeling quite depleted earlier this year, and my imagination was just wanting to absorb me, so the lines made sense.