Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Mela Blust

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.

skeleton-parade_cover

Mela Blust

(according to her website) is a moonchild, and has always had an affinity for the darkness. She is a poet, a painter, a sculptor, and a jeweler. She has been writing poetry since she was a child.

Her work has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Isacoustic, Rust+Moth, Anti Heroin Chic, Califragile, Tilde Journal, Setu Magazine, Rhythm & Bones Lit, and more, and is forthcoming in The Nassau Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, and The Stray Branch, among others.

Her debut poetry collection, Skeleton Parade, is available now at Apep Publications .

She is the social media coordinator for Animal Heart Press, as well as a poetry reader for The Rise Up Review.

She can be followed at https://twitter.com/melablust.

The Interview

What inspired you  to write poetry?

I truly do not know. I never thought to myself, “Oh, I’d like to write poetry.”  It just happened, somewhat organically. I started writing at a very young age, six or seven. And then upon seeing my writing, my mother shared that she, and my grandmother, had always written poetry. My daughter, who is now 8, wrote her first poem about a year ago. I’m concerned that it may be genetic.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I suppose my formal introduction was my family. And books. We had a library in our home, growing up. Whenever a school or anyone gave away encyclopedias or textbooks, my father would go get them and bring them home. I read constantly.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

That hasn’t been my experience at all. I have received nothing but kindness and support, from old and young alike. I hope to give that back.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

Haha, I don’t have one. I try to devote at least an hour each evening to poetry, but not always writing. Sometimes just reading. I have often said that I do not write poetry, it writes me. The muse strikes when it wants to, I don’t get much of a choice.

5. What motivates you to write?

Profound emotion. Sadness, the darkness of humanity, suffering,and sometimes, although rarely, love.

6. What is your work ethic?

I would hardly call this work. It is a privilege I am wholly grateful for. I tend to make lists and check things off, in between bouts of largely ignoring my writing.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

They don’t, anymore. I am far more interested in what the writers and poets of today have to say.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

Oh wow, this question is tough. It is very difficult to limit, as there are so many. But I would say Ilya Kaminsky, Camonghe Felix, Kai Coggin, Hanif Abdurraqib, Danez Smith, Jericho Brown, Ross Gay. Because they are saying things that need to be said, and need to be heard. Because their writing is, enviably, so beyond the scope of the self.

9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I do not write as opposed to doing anything else. I do everything. I write, paint, sculpt, collage, make jewelry, and garden. I never want to stop learning. But I would say that I write because I have to. There are things in me that need to be unearthed.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

I hardly feel qualified to answer this, but I suppose I would just say that there is no such thing as a dumb question. I found writers online and asked them for advice, and I was endlessly welcomed and guided. And now here I am.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

Skeleton Parade is available now through Apep Publications.

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