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.


(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."

Young Poets Network