Name: Anne Le Maistre
Place of Birth: Adelaide, Australia
Please describe what you do in “the world.”
Currently doing a part-time MA in History at the University of Bristol as a career swerve after a decade in administration for a small charity. Previous careers include telephone engineering, product management, and full-time parenting.
What is your role on the Poetry Can Board?
Treasurer. I was recruited to keep the finances ticking over while others provide the creativity.
Where do you live now?
Bristol city centre
What puts a genuine smile on your face?
A beautiful view after a steep climb. An unexpected hug from a teenager. Superb ice cream with intriguing flavours (try Swoon on College Green).
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing — but I do grit my teeth and brace myself before listening to the headlines in the morning.
Which living poet do you most admire?
Roger McGough because he mesmerized my then three year old son at a poetry reading and twinkled at him when my son giggled at the punch line a good 30 seconds after the rest of the audience.
Which dead poet do you most admire?
Aphra Behn, one of the first English women to earn her living from writing.
What irritates you most about yourself?
My impatience, particularly with loved ones. If you’re related to me, you’re supposed to be able to understand exactly what I mean when I say it, right?
What irritates you most about others?
When someone hijacks a meeting for no better reason than to hear the sound of their own voice.
What has been your finest hour to date?
The first, and not quite only, time I went sky diving I set the course record for the largest miss of the drop zone — they had to send out cross-country runners to find me!
What’s your favourite album / CD?
Boys Want Sex in the Morning by Uncle Bonsai (obscure American folk). The title song always makes me laugh!
What’s your favourite indulgence?
Eating out — we’re just spoilt for choice in this city. I’m still exploring Cargo in Wapping Wharf and expect to spend the summer eating my way through Cargo 2.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
St Joan (if National Theatre Live counts); Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them otherwise.
What is your favourite poem?
Jjajja by Vanessa Kisuule. It’s the only poem that has ever moved me to tears.
Where would you most like to go on holiday?
The Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights.
If you ran the Arts Council what would you really want to do?
Put much more focus on small community focused organizations and on institutions outside London.
Do you like shopping in malls?
Only if I’ve got a clear list and want to get it done with maximum efficiency.
Least favourite kind of art event to go and see? (Please don’t say a poetry reading!)
The kind of contemporary art installation where you can’t tell if the fire extinguisher in the corner is part of the work.
Do you write poetry yourself?
How often do you read poetry?
Er, I don’t! But I do go to hear it performed at least six times a year.
What single thing would make your creative life easier?
Being able to resist the lure of the internet and the false belief that one more news story will make me well informed.
Where do you want to be this time next year?
Just about where I am now but with a dissertation well underway.
Do you believe in life after a bad day / gig?
Life never stops, even when we really want it to take a break.
Do you believe in life after death?
No, I think we need to give this life our best shot.
How would you like to be remembered after you’re gone?
I’ll be pleasantly surprised to be remembered at all — or to be able to tell that someone, anyone, has remembered me!