I am Hanne Busck-Nielsen, Danish, grew up in Copenhagen but came to the UK when I was 19, intending to stay for just a year but here I am over thirty years later… and what a privilege it has been!
I am passionate about poetry and this blog will be my place for responding to poetry readings, collections and other relevant events.
I have written poetry for about fifteen years and attended lots of courses and workshops at The Poetry School, Tate Modern and Department for Continuing Education, Oxford. I am member of several poetry groups in Oxford and London and have links with Poesiens Hus in Copenhagen.
And if you want to know a bit more about me, before poetry –
I studied psychology at Reading University – the emphasis was experimental psychology which gave me an invaluable grounding in the Popper basics, deep respect and suspicion of statistics, some great life-long friends.
After a stint with Barnardos and starting my own family, that ‘top soil’ provided by a Psychology BA didn’t feel solid enough – or rather, its solidity felt limiting. We had been taught to disregard what cannot be tested scientifically and when it comes to our weird human species those guidelines soon felt inadequate.
I decided to find out more about the ‘psychoanalytical lot’, who believed in some immeasurable entity called the unconscious and transference. Before undertaking The Introductory Year In Psycho-Analytical Psychotherapy at the then London School of Psychotherapy(LCP), I went into analysis for a number of years and later studied for a Masters in Psychoanalytical Observational Studies at the Tavistock Clinic’s Oxford course; this was also the pre-clinical training to become a child psychotherapist, which was my aspiration at the time.
Due to circumstances (physical health issues) I did not go on to do the clinical training but without life taking such a very unexpected turn, nor would I have found my way into poetry.
To be honest, I didn’t exactly find a way – rather, poetry flung itself quite literally at me in the form of ‘The Spirit Level’ by Seamus Heaney, which a good Irish friend hurled at me! “You must read this”! So I began reading the collection out of a sense of duty. However, the first poem, ‘The Rain Stick’, swung open a window on a completely fresh and exciting world of language, images, thought and feelings. It was a new country that simultaneously felt like home – not unlike my arriving in Britain many years earlier.
We obviously did read a certain amount of British literature at school in Denmark; but as I began reading British poetry now, I soon realised how very patchy my knowledge was. It has been an enormously rewarding journey from knowing almost nothing about poetry back then, to knowing
that I know almost nothing about poetry now !
In fact, ‘rewarding’ is too ‘cold’ a term to describe my relationship to poetry; reading other people’s work nourishes me deeply – how very different we all are and yet share so much; writing my own poetry has become intrinsic to being, a way of responding to the world, outer or inner. Not an optional extra.
Away from poetry and the day job,
I am member of Amnesty International, English Pen and British Mensa.