In common, I suspect, with many poets, Joe Dunthorne wrote his first poem at the age of 16 after being dumped by his first girlfriend. "Thankfully" he says it never saw the light of day in this film made by Faber for Culture24 and National Poetry Day 2010. Dunthorne now writes poems “out of a desire to explore language” and regards poetry as a playground where he discovers what’s possible.
Sometimes however he also starts writing to discover what’s in his subconscious – a process that he admits doesn’t always lead to a good poem. “My process is write nine bad poems and maybe I will get one good one,” he admits. But then it seems there are no hard and fast rules – and that’s the "great freeing and terrifying element of poetry".