Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?
I live in Newcastle, UK, and, age 26, have been writing poetry for around ten years now. Last month my poem, ‘Sunday School’, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I tend to prefer writing poetry over other forms of writing. I first became inspired to start writing as a teenager when I read and researched Sylvia Plath’s life and works. I particularly enjoyed Plath’s collection ‘Ariel’, and was fascinated with the dark and intense language and imagery at play in Sylvia Plath’s poetry. My interest in Plath led to the discovery of my other favorite poets, Louise Gluck, Sharon Olds and Anne Sexton. My own poetry began to mirror the melancholic, confessional tone of such works.
How did you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just…come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?
I began to write poetry whilst studying in the sixth form of my school in the UK. The first poem I wrote was called ‘Love Me’, first published in Cannons Mouth journal. As I embarked upon further education I studied poetry-based modules and was soon writing more and more and creating my own collections. Today I tend to write most days and hope to gain further insight into creating poetry by enrolling upon an MA in Writing Poetry this year. My style of writing has changed dramatically over the years. Currently I am very inspired by connections between spirituality and the natural world and love to write about the nature all around us: Autumnal days, Poppies, winter leaves…
Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
I do not tend to follow social media, but this could change in the future.
Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?
I currently attend a creative writing group and find it a very rewarding experience to share my work with others. I am currently reading Louise Gluck’s collection ‘First Born’ and the fiction book ‘The Little Friend’ by Donna Tartt – I love all of Tartt’s books, particularly ‘The Secret History’.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Write boldly and write about things you truly love and enjoy – enthusiasm will shine through in the poem.