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.
Marie Lightman is a poet and writer. With poems appearing in Lonesome October Lit, The Ofi Press, The Linnet’s Wings and has been published in The Rat’s Ass Review’s Love & Ensuing Madness and StepAway Magazine. Her first pamphlet “Shutters” is due out with Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2018. She hosts the spoken word night Babble Gum and is editor of The Writers’ Cafe Magazine. She is also three times British Othello Champion and has recently started gigging stand-up comedy.
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I have been the admin of the local NaPoWriMo group for 6 years, adding the official prompts every day and for the first two years was not writing anything myself. My friend Jenni Pascoe suggested I had a go. I started writing poems. I found the 52 group very supportive and inspirational and it was during this time that I had my first poem published by I am Not a Silent Poet.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
I was surrounded by books as a child. My parents had an eclectic taste and I read everything I could get my hands on, some of it highly unsuitable. I remember dipping my nose into TS Eliot and John Donne and had a children’s poetry compendium, which included some of Edward Lear’s poetry.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I tend not to notice things like this. I have found only inspiration and support from other writers and have been lucky to meet JH Prynne and Marjorie Perloff, both in interesting circumstances.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
It is sporadic. Poems find me, not the other way around. Two lines may pop into my head, circle around in the air, find some other words and ideas, which eventually find themselves onto paper.
5. What motivates you to write?
Psychology: how people think. Archaeology: I picture prehistoric scenes and try to recreate them. Interesting facts: such as, there is a link between Feng Shui, magic squares and a tortoise. Sudden realisations of beauty: such as how at twilight flowers seem to glow. Dark beauty: mud-puddling butterflies, feeding on blood.
6. What is your work ethic?
I work well to prompts and callouts. Having a deadline to follow appeals to my competitive nature. I have found the Facebook group The Deadline Poets’ Society useful, inspiring me to submit poems every month. You need to have poems to submit, so that in turn inspires me to write poems. Well that’s the theory, anyway.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
As a child I liked adventure and fantasy books. Tom’s Midnight Garden was a favourite. I think my poems include mystery and intrigue. I have always been struck by strong starting images/ideas in books, such as when Winston Smith, in George Orwell’s 1984 steps over a dead body on the first page, which illustrates that life is not valued in that world. I have always loved how the first line in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again”. It immediately sweeps you off. Poems like novels need to instantly capture you in a net.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Antony Owen’s Nagasaki Elder is on my bedside table. I greatly admire how he tackles subjects such as world peace and creates a beautiful space from which we can look at these subjects, which we naturally shy away from in, a stark and powerful way.
9.Why do you write?
I used to say my main ambition in life, was to create something that portrayed the beautiful of everything around me. Maybe I am still striving for this. I partly also believe in leaving something behind when I am gone, even if it’s just for my family. I also write because words come into my head and they want to be put somewhere.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Read other people’s writing. Make a list of everything you are interested in. Then write questions about those things and then write about those subjects. Look at what you have written and cut it down. You are now a writer!
11.Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am the editor of The Writers’ Cafe Magazine, which has monthly themed callouts. I am working on ouija board themed poems, for Grant Tarbard’s anthology. I am excited to have my first pamphlet “Shutters” being published by the wonderful Indigo Dreams Publishing, due out in the next few months.