Lucy A. Evans
1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)
I’m Lucy. A. Evans, a 47 year old poet from rural mid-Devon. I started writing poetry as a hobby in 2013 as a way of reversing years of having developed a polysyllabic and dusty prosaic dialect that suited the haughty academic pursuits of my twenties and thirties. I’d hoped it would help me become a good fiction writer, but I fell in love with poetry and have no immediate desire to write anything else.
I tend to write about unfairness. One way or another, most of my writing is about how brutally unjust the world has been to me and the best of the people that I know. I write about my quarter of the human condition from within that framework. My poems are about how I react to injustice and how I’ve been unwittingly unfair in my life to significant others. My sexuality, my battles with all forms of conformity – gender included, my fights for others, my ongoing tirade against human beings letting their gut bacteria speak for them, all of these themes are ultimately about unfairness.
In a previous guise, as Pixie Truffle, I performed burlesque and later standup. I tend to tart up my writing with a little flamboyant wit. All injustice and no comedy makes my world a dreich place to hang out.
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?
Self promotion is on my mind right now. I had promised to go scooting around the country promoting my pamphlet this year. We’re in March and I’ve hardly been anywhere. This is largely due to a bad turn of health. The same has led me to deactivating Facebook for an unspecified amount of time. I remain on Twitter. I find the latter is equally febrile at times but less obnoxious in its familiarity and therefore easier for me to remain unaffected by the hideous urge to scroll myself into crisis. Last time I did this with Facebook, I was away for three years. This time, it will be days only. Ultimately, I have entered into an agreement to promote myself. For that I need my author platform. Ideally promoting and writing are a part of the same process and ought to be fairly organic. Would that anxiety didn’t exist.
3, What projects are you working on at present?
I set myself a one, three, and five year target in May last year at the behest of my then mentor Wendy Pratt. By the back end of that month I had surpassed my three year target, when Eyewear publishing Ltd accepted my pamphlet submission. So this year I’m going to concentrate on my one year goal from last year which is to pepper journal submissions and start to build an author reputation. I was named by Bunbury magazine as one of the best kept secrets in poetry last year. That’s only because I came at poetry with impatience and with too much early ambition. Being accepted for a pamphlet from someone as magnificent as Eyewear was incredible given my lack of a publishing history. It made me have to grow up fast as a writer. Wendy helped me do that. So now I feel it’s appropriate to do things the right way.
4, What does poetry mean to you?
Imagine three poets in a snooker hall. I’m one of them, Scout Bolton is another and Dean Rhetoric is the third. He’s been watching me and Scout push balls around the table for an hour now. As snooker players, we make great poets. Nevertheless we are down to the last three colours; blue, pink, and black. I am first up. Dean is flabbergasted to discover that by some quirk of the universe, he’s able to see when I line up to hit the blue. He’s amazed to discover that I perceive blue the way he perceives pink. That is to say, the sensation I experience when I see blue is identical to the one he has when he looks at pink. Naturally I fluff my stroke and Scout steps up to pot the same ball. The same oddness of happenstance occurs again to Dean. He suddenly sees through Scout’s eyes and determines that she experiences the colour blue as the same sensation that Dean has when he looks at black. I see colour of the ball as he sees pink; Scout sees it as he sees black. Heaven only knows what I would see through Scout’s eyes or through Dean.
So, what is the colour of the ball we are trying to pot? The answer is, of course, blue. It scarcely matters what we see, it only matters what we agree to call that idiosyncratic phenomenological experience of the colour of the ball. It’s therefore possible, nay likely, that we all perceive everything completely uniquely.
Take for example this sentence: I put my foot on the chair. Name all of the different types of chair that there are? Also, I have two feet, or possibly I own a severed limb of someone else. It’s a near impossibility to convey exactly what it means for me to put my foot on the chair. But you don’t need to know all the details. It’s enough I know I put my foot on the chair to understand the meaning. Language is a game of truncation.
Language is also appallingly utilitarian. It has to be. Poetry takes that drab functionality and offers a way into experiencing the phenomenon of each writers unique world, as closely as possible given the limits of the language. It does this despite the utility of functional language. Whereas prose tends to rely on the utility of truncated archetypes. Using poetry we make a new world. Prose constructs what’s already there.
But the act of construction is madness itself. Sidestepping the obvious to let people in, in language leads to momentary insanity. Often times it’s horrific and it’s beautiful at the same time. I’m talking of the writing process, of course. At least, it’s this way for me. I should add to this, that it therefor becomes an enormous honour to be let into a poet’s world. You’re literally recieving an invitation to construct a fragment of their consciousness from within the laboratory of your own. How beautiful is that?