What inspired your poem this month?
I’ve been on social media since I was 11. That’s nearly 15 years of exhibiting myself at my most vulnerable. So waking up to the Cambridge Analytica news was like hearing people broke into my memory chest and reading my journals in the name of ‘research’. The shock never left me, I began to question my faith in the future being a nicer place to live. Not when I have to critique how I be myself in the name of safety.
Who do you think writes well on the topic of change?
Gillian Rose writes really well on the topic of change in Love’s Work. It’s a memoir, she writes it after being diagnosed with cancer and months to live. It’s my first interaction with Rose and I was floored by the clarity and the elegant yet aggressive poetry of it all – although she doesn’t directly address the topic of change in the book, she takes you through the stages of her life as an exploration of identity – a topic poets are constantly attacking because it is constantly changing.
Why do you think poetry is a good way to talk about change?
In the process of making something, change is the alpha and the omega – the idea in the beginning isn’t the idea in the end but that’s e∫cause you’ve watered it and nourished it, os perhaps growth is the word to use. Develop. Evolve. Audre Lorde explains best, for me, why poetry is good at starting the discussions that grow into tangible changes, ‘Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought’. We identify the changes we want to make through the process of writing into the things that affect us.
I really appreciate having a space where I can say what I want without having to compromise for the easier thing to say
How has poetry changed your life?
Since meeting Poetry, it’s almost certainly the thing I use to frame my living experience. I know if I begin and end my day with writing, just the process aligns my perspective, shakes off all distractions so I can focus on the important, more efficient, memory is engaged now etc. I’m energised with intention. I tried other things before but this obsession was the one for me. I also stammer, have done for 20 years now, but when I’m reading poems in public it disappears. I really appreciate having a space where I can say what I want without having to compromise for the easier thing to say.