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 Spanish Norwegian poet, artist and actor living in London. her publications include works in 3am magazine, a new type of imprint, brygg, penteract press, ren sommer and utflukt. she was a member of the experiments and innovations in poetry program at kingston university, where she won the 2018 writers graduation prize.
- When and why did you begin to write poetry?
poetry – i don’t know. i’ve been writing since i was a kid, all kinds of stuff, stories for my brothers, word games, anything really. in college i was part of a poetry society (i know how it sounds – if it helps, its name was K.U.K., which is norwegian for dick – that doesn’t help, does it) which probably constituted my first attempts at poetic endeavours. i’ll take them with me to the grave.
- Who introduced you to poetry?
i grew up surrounded by books, prose and poetry and anything in between. i’ve been extraordinarily lucky, having always access to a plethora of authors, and being encouraged along the way. i’ve also had some magnificent teachers, like my spanish teacher reading lorca to a class of 11 year olds.’ t
- How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?
never been an issue. for one, i’m surrounded by fellow foals. moreover, i’ve only ever been met with welcome and support by the poetry community. it might be a case of echo chamber or naivety, but i remain grateful.
- What is your daily writing routine?
utterly, magnificently, perpetually non existent. i usually juggle loads of stuff, projects and meetings and collaborations and training and whatnot – none of which adhere to a set schedule. i don’t operate with weekends or holdidays, just endless to-do lists and post-it’s. i write on the bus, at intermissions, when reading, when trying to sleep.
- What motivates you to write?
anything and nothing. a deadline can be as efficient as an idea. generally speaking, i write because i write because i write. i’ve always been drawn to language, and am by nature hyperassociative. add to that a fair amount of curiosity and cheek, and you got yourself a poet.
- What is your work ethic?
i would say see question 4.-5., but in all honesty i take my work ethic very seriously. the idolised notion of an erratic and capricious creative genius possessed by divine inspiration is just BS. i’m obnoxiously lucky to do what i do, and i pride myself in calling it work. professionalism is a matter of self-respect as much as common decency.
- How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
probably in every way except directly.
- Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
i am hopelessly guilty of not reading enough of my contemporaries as i’m forever trying to catch up with the past. it’s a deplorable habit. given this predicament it’s fortunate that i get to collaborate with living, talented creatures i would otherwise not have encountered. that being said… lyn hejinian, alice birch, sarah kane (i know, but come on), oh, and i discovered brenda shaughnessy just earlier today.
- Why do you write?
i don’t have a good answer to that. i’m not sure it matters why – whether it’s a compulsion, a passion, or a logical outcome of given circumstances. i know it’s a privilege, and i know it’s a struggle. on a grand scale the creation, manipulation and mutilation of language and culture is fascinating, but who cares why i do it?
- What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
apart from things like ’write’ or ’read’, i mean, who’s asking? i’d probably say it is a case of the blind leading the blind.
- Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
i’m doing a series of things in relation to the european poetry festival, including a book launch and a few collaborative readings. then i’m filming a short film i’ve written, and developing a curatorial concept which is not ready for disclosure quite yet. other than that i just had a pamphlet out with penteract press, an extract from a collection of asemic writings that i’m still developing.