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This interview is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

In Conversation with Michael Mott Tony Roberts
Michael Mott was born in London in 1930. His father was a solicitor, his mother a sculptor from Colorado. He grew up in Hampstead, where his family’s friends included Geoffrey Grigson, Bernard Spencer and Barbara Hepworth. Michael was evacuated to America during the war, returning to England (and the V-Bombs) in 1944. After extensive travel and a stint of National Service and at Oxford University, he became a writer. Four novels followed, published on both sides of the Atlantic, including a bestseller, The Notebooks of Susan Berry, and the critical success Helmet and Wasps. After working briefly as an art editor for Thames and Hudson, in 1966 Michael was invited to teach at Kenyon College, where he became poetry editor of the Kenyon Review. He published a bestselling biography, The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton, before retiring from teaching in 1992. However, Michael is firstly a poet and over the years has published eleven collections of poetry, including Absence of Unicorns, Presence of Lions (1976), Corday (1986), a substantial selected, Woman and the Sea (1999), and the prize-­winning volume The World of Richard Dadd (2005). Michael lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife, Emma Lou Powers.

tony roberts: Robert Nye, in calling you ‘a true poet’, made the point that in a sense you fall between two stools, being English in America and American in England. Do you feel that you are an ‘unassimilable poet’? In my view that could be true of publishing concerns but not with the poems themselves. Along with American themes, ...

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