Please click on the audio symbol above if you want to hear me explain how I wrote Dear Ugly Sisters. Dear Ugly Sisters began as a poem for adults in the voice of a bedraggled househusband, who listed everything he had done that day, only for his wife to complain that he'd forgotten something. But something wasn't quite right. The poem felt more like a poem for children rather than adults, and wasn't working somehow. So I showed the draft to an exceptional poet called Rachel Rooney, who wrote back saying: 'Cinderella?'. As soon as I saw that, I knew what the last two lines should be, and that, instead of being a conversation, the poem should be a goodbye letter from a Cinderella who had had enough. For me, this poem is a good reminder of two things: I never know where a poem is going to take me – I might have an idea, but whether that's where it actually ends up is another matter. Secondly, asking certain trusted people to look at my writing helps me generate new ideas, develop my skills and create better poems.
Dear Ugly Sisters – The Writing Process