Interviewed by Jennifer Matthews

JM: Do you always write poems and songs on paper, or do you think about pieces before you write them down?

GmL: I think about them while walking about because I walk a lot and find that ideas pop into my head. Then I might write down a note or two and see how it grows. Or I might just record random lines as they arrive and shape them later on white sheets of paper. Peripatetic school of poetry.

JM: Does the language you write in affect the choice of topic or tone of the poem? (Would your Irish pieces vary greatly from your English pieces?)

GmL: Yeah the Irish pieces have a different tone – I write a lot about this in the notes to Stream of Tongues (published by Cló Iar-Chonnachta) which you can order on line from the publisher.

JM: Do you revise work alone? Do you consult with friends or other poets/songwriters?

GmL: Alone.

JM: Can you tell me a little bit about your revision process, perhaps describing a recent effort? Do you have a structured approach or do you treat each piece individually?

GmL: I tend to overwrite pieces and exhaust all avenues and ideas of sound and rhythm. Then I try to ruthlessly cut them down into pieces that I can perform or that make sense on the page. I continue to edit for performance of the pieces as I find the poems are never finished and may take on different forms and versions or turn into songs or whatever. It is a very fluid process and nothing ever stays the same or is written in stone.

Many warm thanks to Gearoid Mac Lochlainn for his participation in this interview. His book and CD set, ‘Stream of Tongues’, is available from Cló Iar-Chonnachta and can be purchased at their website here.