Within a couple of days of each other, two poet friends nominated me to take part in the Writing Process Blog Chain (google it for heaps of great posts). I won’t say whether Robbie Coburn or Ivy Alvarez got in first, but here’s the resulting post. Thanks to both of these amazing poets for tagging me in the chain. It’s been good fun.
1. What am I working on?
After having my first book published in February, I’m in the strange position of finding a large chunk of my work neatly wrapped up with a bow. It’s very satisfying, but also quite terrifying. I’ve got a few ideas of what I’d like to do next, but the road lies dauntingly open. Some science poems and a verse novel are my most pressing projects at the moment.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It’s cheating to say so, but I think every poet’s work differs from everyone else’s. Regulator—my recently published collection—covers nature, a country adolescence, sexuality and science with a touch of dark humour. I’d like to think it’s not like too many other works out there.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write poetry because it’s the only mode of expression that scratches my particular itch. I still remember very vividly the lesson in Year 3 when Mrs P asked us to write a poem. She made a big fuss of the sentimental mess I produced and, in the process, created an enduring monster— the big, furry, friendly muppety sort.
4. How does my writing process work?
I’d love nothing more than to be able to declare ‘Writing Time’ and sit down to have spun-gold issue from my fingertips, but it just doesn’t happen like that for me. There have been magical moments when a poem has arrived pretty much fully formed, beaming up at me from the screen, but these are exceedingly rare. Instead, I type key phrases or lines into the Notes app on my iPhone as they sporadically occur— random stuff, probably never to be used, such as this:
I worked with a man
whose father’s arm was slowly
twisted off by my grandfather’s
post hole borer.
When I have time to tune out the rest of my life, I sit at my computer and see what happens. On good days, something does.