Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Cat Woodbury

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.

Blessed be the butterfly knives

Catrice Reverie

Cat Woodbury

is a poet living in Charlotte, NC. She is 26 years old. She released her debut spoken word album, “The Patron Saint of Eating in Bed”, in 2018 on Bandcamp. When she’s not writing and performing, she can be found avidly reading young adult fantasy novels, listening to pop-punk, or crying about raccoons and how cute they are. She tweets from @quokka_flocka

SITES:

Facebook page where I promote my work/performances:

More formal site (I use this less): https://reveriethepoet.wixsite.com/reverie
Latest released publications:

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

I am inspired by things and experiences in life that are often overlooked at best, and silenced and hidden at worst. This includes mental health related issues, trauma, abuse, injustices, and pain that people feel like they can’t talk about. I believe that it is important to bring these things to light. Letting them remain in the dark can give them further power, which can be very dangerous.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

In my sophomore year of high school, my student teacher for my English class ran our poetry unit where we started to learn about poetry more in depth than I had in previous years and had opportunities to write poems of our own. She was both enthusiastic and encouraging to the class. While I had great teachers before and after that class, I consider her to be the one who introduced me to poetry.

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

I wouldn’t say this is something I give much thought, aside from the fact that more prestigious poetry circles seem to choose to have older poets who are no longer alive be a dominating presence. While I respect many writers who have passed on, I am excited when I see any press, but especially small presses, champion the many diverse voices that exist among living poets today and look forward to seeing how things develop to be even more inclusive.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I try not to force myself to write, unless I’m doing a National Poetry Writing Month challenge. When I feel inspired, I write. When I don’t feel inspired, but crave creative works, I read poems through online journals or my favorite books. I also follow many poets on social media so I can easily see what they’re working on. Sometimes I write several poems a day, many days I write one or even none. I go easy on myself no matter what because I would never want to resent the writing process.

5. What motivates you to write?

I live with chronic mental illness and often have a hard time verbally expressing how I feel. Writing is very cathartic for me. I hope to help inspire others to feel a similar release and ease, even if it’s just for a minute of their day. When I read other people’s poems, it’s a magical moment to feel seen and understood by them through their words.

6. What is your work ethic?

I try to be my authentic self as best I can, even if it means writing about something that I’m scared to share.

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

My writing tends to lean toward the melancholier side of things, and one of the first poems I really loved was the one called “Absolutely Nothing”, popularized by the book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. It was dark, especially reading it as a young teenager. However, I was in a dark place at the time, so it helped me feel less alone.

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

Neil Hilborn is one of my favorite writers today. Any time I read or hear one of his poems, I feel like his words touch a part of my soul that I often try to keep hidden, and the words help remind me that I don’t have to hide any part of myself. I can be me.

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

I often feel overwhelmed and need to get that feeling out to get through the day.

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

You decide to show up authentically through written and/or spoken word, whatever that looks like for you as an individual. You allow yourself to feel, whether it be joy, pain, or somewhere in-between. You don’t have to write every day. You don’t have to do anything in particular at all, aside from write SOMETHING.

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

I was blessed to be put in the running of the longlist for Nightingale & Sparrow’s 2020 Microchapbook longlist, so I’m waiting to see if I make the shortlist with “My Friend, Grief”.

I recently finished a werewolf inspired chapbook that has to do with traumatic and abusive relationships.
Additionally, I’m currently working on a sapphic love poem collection.

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