Peter Sansom
Marks and Spencer Poet in Residence

Peter Sansom is director of The North magazine and Smith/Doorstop books and cassettes. His collections include Everything You've heard is True, which won a PBS Recommendation and January, which won an Arts Council Writer's bursary and an award from the Society of Authors.

Contents:

(1) Some notes about the Poetry Residency
"Faced with so much data at M&S, though, so much tension between product and process, the foot-shoe (137,000 pairs shifted in first week of sale) and the staff restaurant, the focus group bulletin board and the chairman's speechwriter, with the green-veried, straplined juggernaut of expansion in Europe, the caramel dessert and the forty-percent market share in underwear, I've sometimes retreated into autobiography and reconsidering what poetry is, what we can teach of it and why we want to; but something of M&S has found its way into my notebook even so."

(2) A paper on Poetry and Business
"This is probably the first perceived difference between business and poetry, that business is rational, gets to the point, says what it means; and poetry, well, that makes it up as it goes along and - when the reader's slogged through it - what does it boil down to? 'Isn't life short' or 'She's buggered off and I do feel fed up'. Business, this is to say, is utilitarian. The poet on the other hand is worse than useless."

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