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.
is a poet, organiser and presenter of Loose Muse for writers at Winchester Discovery Centre. Her first poetry collection, ‘Down By Wild Water’ was published in 2015.She has had poems published in numerous Anthologies and in response to Art Exhibitions. She appears in ‘154 Poems By 154 Contemporary Poets, Poems in The Woven Tale Press Vol 1V. ‘Leads To Leeds’ a collaborative poetry project set up by Helen Mort in 2016.
She was Highly commended and also won second prize in the Elmbridge Poetry Competition 2015, 2016 & 2018; has poems commissioned by Live Canon for the Pink Floyd Exhibition at the V&A in 2017, a Brexit Haiku and a Christmas poem.
She was organiser and Director of the “UK-India Festival Of Words’ in 2017 at the Winchester Discovery Centre and Co-Editor with Abegail Morley for Loose Muse Winchester Poetry Anthology published April 2018.
She is currently working on her second collection.
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I have written poetry from a young age mostly I think to understand the world in general and my relationships. I find poetry clarifies, I can use it unpick and express feelings.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
We had poetry books at home but I think school teachers encouraged me to take an interest in poetry from Primary onwards.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I think I was aware of the ‘great’ poets but I didn’t find them dominating just inspiring. I love the Metaphysical Poets but also Hopkins and Heaney. I have always read a wide range of poets, seeking knowledge and inspiration.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I don’t have a routine! I write when I feel inspired but also when a deadline approaches. I organise and present a writers’ evening once a month called ‘Loose Muse’ in Winchester where I book two poets to present their work. We also have Open Mic sessions and I try to write a new poem to read at this every month. I also often have ideas for poems while I’m walking my dog.
5. What motivates you to write?
I often write about my experiences, feelings and relationships. I find poetry helps clarify how I feel. Writing about it helped me express grief and anger. I also write about joy and find a great deal of inspiration in the natural world. I sometimes write for commissions which I really enjoy.
6. What is you work ethic?
I think to write as well as I can while reaching to do better if that makes sense? I am writing for my second collection at the moment so I am trying to hone each poem and make it the best I can. I’m also listening to advice from poets I admire and trust.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I am quite good at remembering poems or bits of them and I still feel admiration for a lot of the poets I read growing up. I think everything we read influences us in some way, language, turns of phrase, the rhythm and rhyme of poems. I think I collected a lot along the way that influences how I write today.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I am delighted by and admire many contemporary poets, particularly some excellent women writing today. I was entranced by Liz Berry when I first heard her read her work and later read it for myself. I greatly admire and enjoy the work of Helen Mort and also Kim Moore. I had the great pleasure of booking all three of these poets for Loose Muse and found their work astoundingly good. They are intelligent, articulate women that often express current issues concerning women today such as everyday sexism, motherhood etc. My list of poets I admire would be too long to write here! I am constantly on the lookout for new poets and am always amazed at both the quantity and quality of those I find.
9. Why do you write?
I write because I have to, I have no choice. I find it illuminating, sometimes infuriating but always rewarding. I simply couldn’t not write.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “ How do you become a writer?”
I would first encourage them to read as widely as possible. Tell them to try and hear the poets who inspire them. I think it is also important to learn the craft of writing and there are many opportunities to do this. Taking short courses, poetry workshops and Poetry Residential’s all help to develop confidence and skills. Finding a mentor can also be important for developing your work. Joining a poetry Stanza group may also help. When you feel ready it can also be very beneficial to put your work before an audience in an Open Mic.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am working on my second poetry collection. I often get distracted by organising readings, putting workshops together or, recently, editing a Loose Muse Anthology so it is great to take some time now to concentrate on my own work. I am hoping to publish this collection next year.