I just discovered when I was, oh, 12 or 13, that I was very interested in language – and this showed itself as poetry. There was no looking back.
I have friends who are very pessimistic. They say you can't possibly be an optimist nowadays. But I think, taking the longer view, you can still be as optimistic as you want.
Translated poetry filled the no-man's-land between my own work and other writers', and I found this fascinating to explore.
People always say that Glasgow has had umpteen social problems but keeps finding ways of getting over its difficulties and transforming itself. Maybe, belonging to the city I'm able to renew myself too, and keep extending out into some new area.
Poetry is partly sympathy, don't you think? If it's any good, it gets people to think about others' points of view.