Many moons ago when I was teaching at UWA, I heard a creative writing lecturer talk about how writers often find themselves ‘worrying at a particular knot’. Maybe they’re writing all kinds of different things, but somewhere in the midst of each of them, if you look deeply enough, or from the right angle, you’ll find some version of this one theme or concern.
The writer, of course, doesn’t always know this. Slightly fewer moons ago, when I was easing out of teaching at UWA, I had a student say to me, “It’s interesting how so many of your poems are sort of about containment.”
And I said Huh?
And she said, “You know … how you’re always talking about borders and margins, inside and outside, about edges and stuff like that.”
And I said, No I’m not … am I?
And then she showed me. And lo and behold, I was. And still am. At least in my poetry.