1) What kind of classicist (&/or medievalist) would you describe yourself as?
A very bad Classicist! I did Latin in school of course, but abandoned it after O' Level, and I never did Greek at all. My later interest in the Ancient World came about by affinity -- for the last ten years or so, almost every time I come across something from that world it makes me homesick and I want it back. I'm quite agnostic about reincarnation, but there have been a few things that seem very suggestive and this affinity is one of them. The reading I've done has been sporadic and insufficient, it's an area I'm trying to educate myself about now.
As for medievalist, I'm a Welsh one! Like a lot of people I started with Arthur and went out from there in ever increasing spirals.
As a scholar, I'm a poet, it's all feel for me. So there are some little things I know pretty much everything there is to know about because it's attracted my attention, and there might be huge areas right next to it that I've never even dipped a toe into.
2) Which period of history would you most like to visit?
I think the Later Roman Empire, in Wales, before the withdrawal of the legions but well after the Boudicca rebellion, when Britannia was a settled province. I might be able to get along with my half-remembered Latin and with modern Welsh, if I could persuade people I was a foreigner. I'd love to know the details about the schools of rhetoric and what life was like in the provinces
After that it would be Greece in the period of Mary Renault's The Praise Singer, although I'd need to learn the language first. My ideal job would be as a praise singer.
3) What do you get out of poetry slams?
Always less than I think I will. I go to them thinking I'll get the companionship of other people who take poetry seriously and maybe some appreciation of my latest efforts, and I leave them feeling slightly sick because so many of the people who go are such pseuds. I want poetry to be alive, and they are one of the forms of living poetry today, but they're often a feeble enough specimen. Sometimes though -- and I suppose this is why I go -- sometimes they can take fire and there will be improvisation and banter and it will all be worthwhile. A lot of the time though people go alone and read their poetry alone and the others wait until it is their turn to read and don't care for anyone else and I am just as bad.
To put the worst construction on it, I'd have to say I go for an audience. It's the same reason I post my poems here. It's a terrible urge to share, even if it is like offering a broken plate full of burnt cake.
4) Is there/are there road(s) untaken in your life?
Oh yes. I could have stayed in London and had a much more financially successful career.
I suppose I might have had a different career entirely if something else had struck me when I was leaving university.
Even before that, I almost left school and went to work when my father died; if I'd been a year older I would have, I think, and that would have been a very different life.
I suppose, to go even more back, my mother didn't want me to take my place at Grammar School when I passed the Eleven Plus, she thought it would give me ideas, and I have to admit that she was right!
5) What, if anything, would you do differently?
I'd like to have got married and had children.
I was engaged once, but she left me and married a friend of mine. It was a long time ago and we're all friends and keep in touch. If I'd known, I'd have never set my heart on her, I'd have found someone else then when I was still young enough.
If anyone else would like me to ask them questions, then ask below.