This project began with students of CMW1001: Introduction to Writing – Poetry at the University of Middlesex in Spring 2012. Students were each assigned to interview a poet, and collaborated in class on developing a pool of “burning questions.” The initial project produced 68 interviews, but the site plans to grow! It was inspired by Angela Rawlings’ The Great Canadian Writers’ Craft.
The name of the site, “I Don’t Call Myself a Poet,” was inspired by a phrase used by some of the poets interviewed, who pointed instead to poetry as a process, practice, engagement, or as one identity among many. It conveys the often self-deprecating nature of British poets and poetry, as well as the sense of community, of being part of poetry rather than being “a poet”, described in many of the interviews.