1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)
I’m Scarlett, I’m 25 and I live in the west midlands. I graduated from Keele uni in 2015 with a degree in history, English literature & creative writing and I spend pretty much every spare moment I have either writing or reading. Or writing about writing. Or reading about writing. You get the picture.
I like to think that my poetry is honest about life and love and hurt and growth. It’s hard to pinpoint any specific influence on my work because I believe that the more you read the more you nourish your mind and every human you meet or book you read colours your personal voice… However I’ll stop being an abstract jerk now and try to answer you properly… I have always loved traditionally romantic poetry, but what excited me most was the way this was evolving to be consumed by a modern audience, just as romantic in the 21st century as previously. I have always loved and will always love Sylvia Plath and the way she wove her poetry with musicality, depth and impact, however while in uni I was introduced to modern American poet Megan Falley and I adore the ways she will boldly explore elements such as sexuality feminism and emotional trauma through expertly crafted language. I was then intrigued by Lang Leav and the way her poetry was so lustful and structured that her collection felt like an insight into a lovers’ letter drawer. I also recently started reading Liz Berry whose celebration of the black country accent has really encouraged me to find my own voice through exploration of colloquial linguistics in my poetry.
2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?
I usually use Instagram because a lot of my poetry has a visual element to my work, whether that be the aesthetic way I present it or the video uploads of my performances. Facebook is also a really great platform to find like-minded people, and the support I have received from the Midlands poetry scene through there has been immense.
I think when you write you must take form into consideration anyway and so it’s something I’m already working on as I write so it doesn’t really take up much extra time to present it. It’s already a part of the process. We are all such consumers of social media that any time I spent posting my work is time I’d probably be on the app anyway as that’s one of the best ways I find out about events and new emerging poets!
3, What projects are you working on at present?
I’m currently working on my manuscript because I think I know the home I want it to settle into. This by no means has made me complacent however because I feel now more than ever that I must prove myself. To get my own collection published has always been a dream of mine, and now I’m just on this wonderful journey of establishing my own voice and direction of my book. I want it to be something that is honest and open so I am working very hard on it right now.
Other than that I have spoken word poetry evenings every last Thursday of the month at Caffe Del Nino in Cannock, I’ve been lucky enough to be invited as a guest to carry out Pen To Paper poetry Workshop by Nellie Cole at The anchor gallery in Birmingham in April, and I’m putting together Cannock Fringe festival for the fourth year in which we’re going to have local musicians and performers take to the stage in July!
4, What does poetry mean to you?
Poetry is my way of not only expressing myself but of exploring my own emotions. If there’s a situation that happened to me that I’m particularly hurt or confused by, I find that writing helps me fathom out the eventualities of my feelings. It’s my way of celebrating my happiness and love and anger. The urge to write isn’t one you can ignore. To quote my favourite poet Plath: “I write only because there is a voice within me that cannot be still.”