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.
Katie is a writer and poet. You can find her in a cafe drinking tea, perusing bookshops or furiously writing in her notebook.
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I believe I was inspired by the poems I read as a child. I enjoyed how the economy of words could make me feel something so grand, I felt the need to replicate this and I did so outside of the classroom. Of course my poems have evolved and with all artists, when we first begin we may emulate our heroes but as we proceed, we begin to shape our own voices quite unknowingly.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
My teachers. We read many poems in school but the poet that led me to sit down and try out my own was Dylan Thomas. His ability to use words was absolutely wonderful, the way the words jingle jangled and tripped off your tongue – it was a lyrical party in my mouth, I was captured.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
When I started to gain my own voice in my writing, I was asked by people that didn’t necessarily read poetry why it didn’t rhyme – things like that have been instilled in people that the rules have already been written by poets that have come before us. From my perspective this may be something that haunts a few of us, poetry can have form of course, for me, I appreciate a well-crafted formulaic poem but I also love the free form poetry that can go anywhere. Be anything it wants to be.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
There is no routine. I am sporadic in my work due to many different factors. I do tend to write better in the evenings, I am not a morning person and never have been. My mornings consist of me getting dressed and gulping down tea to unveil my human form which usually happens around 11.30am.
My evenings may consist of writing in my notebook, this can be a journal entry, a few lines I may use one day or a poem. I do try to write something every single day but there is no routine as such.
5. What motivates you to write?
I have to. It is as simple as that and it isn’t an easy task at times although it does come with the highest of rewards.
6. What is your work ethic?
Work hard, love what you do, be curious and don’t let anyone tell you how to write.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I had completed my film degree and I was lost creatively, for reasons I still cannot fathom, I am guessing it was the transition from student into the world of work. I picked up the book Henry and June by Anais Nin and a wave of inspiration washed over me and I knew that I wanted to pick up my writing again – I never looked back.
I held on tight to Dylan Thomas, Charles Bukowski, Emily Bronte, Mina Loy, Sylvia Plath, the lyrics of Nick Cave and Anne Sexton.
I have so much gratitude for each and every one of these people for helping me to realise that writing is a path that I must always walk down, no matter what may come along and try to divert me.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
The poetic and storytelling aspect of Patti Smith’s work is very addictive. She has held my head above water when I have felt like my inspiration has fallen by the wayside.
There are so many fantastic writers that have been published by indie presses, too many to name, however, I love the writers that have been published alongside myself at presses such as Paper and Ink and Analog Submission Press.
9. Why do you write?
Why do I breathe? Because I have to. This is also true of writing.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
I would say, buy a notebook and a pen, sit down and just write. Write journal entries, stream of consciousness pages, lines of dialogue, lines of words that may one day make it into a poem. Take that notebook everywhere. Write in cafes, write in libraries, write on your way to work. Be very curious, dissect and enjoy the monotony of normal life because it certainly does like to throw material at you. The final thing that I think is very important is read as much as you can. Join the library, wander around bookshops’ the more you read, the more you will learn about the craft.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
Over the past few years I have had many projects on the go, spinning plates if you like to the point I smashed a few and thought – I need to slow down. So, I am currently writing a novella with no other distractions