Wombwell Rainbow Interviews
I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
Carol has been performing at Spoken Word events since 2010, she also gradually started dabbling with comedy as well, which she now includes as part of her Spoken Word/Comedy show and was delighted to be able to perform at the 2015 UK Women in Comedy Festival in Manchester.
Carol has also performed in venues, Festivals/Fringe events from Brighton to Edinburgh such as Ilkley, Buxton, Manchester, York, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
In 2014 her solo Edinburgh Fringe show received a 4star review from BroadwayBaby.
In 2015 she was part of a performance around intergenerational words called ‘The Open Sky’ first performed at Peckham Liberal Club before a performance in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
In 2016 Carol performed her new show ‘Just Saying How It Is’ at the Great Yorkshire Fringe in York and Camden Fringe. Her eclectic material is taken from everyday real live, which can be serious or she uses humour, ie: ‘Just Saying How It Is’ and labels herself as the Paranoid Party Poet.
In 2018 Carol performed at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Carol was honoured to be invited to perform some of her poetry at the Harms Of Hate event funded by the Home Office and held at the Magna Science Park in Rotherham on Sept 27th 2018, she wrote the poem ‘No Labels’ especially for this event.
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I didn’t go to University until I was 52 as a very mature student and I found I had to write lots of assignments. I did find it hard at first then started to enjoy it although I found it easier to talk my thoughts/words to an audience, I guess that is why I love being a spoken word/poet performer. Leaving University I started to feel as though I wanted to write stories but drifted into poetry after showing 2 poems to a Sheffield poet who told me to write more
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
So many to mention, but if put on the spot it was when I went to a reading at Sheffield University bookstore and listening to Sally Goldsmith because I was so interested in real life stories, people lives and she advise to go to poetry writing workshops which I did.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
Being an older poet I was more aware of much younger poets and to be honest learnt so much from them as I did some poets same age or older than myself, to be honest I found some of the poets same age or older a bit stuffy and totally not in touch with what I wanted to write about,.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I really don’t have a daily routine, I am a very spontaneous person and I must start writing my poetry, make notes or rough drafts as soon as it comes in my head, I even have a notepad on my bedside cabinet.
5. What motivates you to write?
So many issues of this world, simply my heart and mind. Seriously I write about anything but at the forefront I write poems on issues around Mental Health, Domestic Violence, Gender, Social Comment, Human Rights, Yorkshire, LGBT and real life issues and sometimes political, I also love to inject humour where and when appropriate.
6. What is your work ethic?
The reliability of any sources that I use for inspiration also my integrity and a sense of responsibility and respect when something from marginalised groups of people inspires me to write a poem.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today? To be honest I was a terrible reader in my younger life but as a child I did love Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. So I guess it was more in later life that I have grown to admire writers.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I do really love a good Autobiography/Biography but these writers I really loved because I went back and read their books again, Michael Ondaatje, Hanif Kureishi, Kathryn Harrison, V G Lee, Spike Milligan. I have so many poetry collections from fellow poets and I love them all and these are still my main source of reading material today, so I won’t name anyone in particular.
9. Why do you write?
Several years ago I did an open mic in Sheffield, lots of students there and after my slot one student told me they loved my poetry but I must be 20-30 years older than the other open micers and why am still doing it; ‘I simply replied ‘because I fucking can’ Writing has become part of me, I write more to perform and my inspiration was to write a my one woman show to take to Edinburgh Fringe which I did in 2014 and received a 4star review from BroadwayBaby. Also my collection Words of Darkness and Light was published in 2014.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Learn as much as you can about being a writer, research for me is a key factor, also attending writing workshops and go to listen to other writers giving talks. It has to be in your heart, be prepared to be disappointed but don’t let it break you.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am still putting some poems together some old, some new for my second collection, the title could be around the performance that I do of ‘Just Saying How it Is’ at the moment this is just a pamphlet size piece of work.
Website: Just Saying How It Is, carolrobson.com