Posts Tagged ‘hayley shields interview’

Featured Poet Hayley Shields Interviewed!

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

You’ve seen Hayley’s poems (here and here) … now you can find out a bit more about her!

Tell us about your poems.
Hmmm… OK, this is hard to answer seriously, without feeling stupid! I write mostly in free verse, although I’m begining to experiment with stricter forms. My poems are quite reflective, and have been described as “twisted”. I write because I love the satisfaction of finishing a poem (and because if I don’t I may fail my Creative Writing MSc).

How long have you been writing?
I used to write stories when I was very very small, but the first poem I remember writing was a sonnet, when I had just turned 16, for an A-level English class. The embarassing experience of having this poem studied by the rest of the class meant that I didn’t write again seriously until my 3rd year of University, when I took a course in Creative Writing. So really I’d say I’ve only been writing for 2 years.

Do you have any publications to your name? What’s the next stage for your work?
I have been featured in one of the best magazines ever (!!), Read This – both in Issue 3 of the magazine, and on the website in September 2008. I was also chosen to be Editor’s Choice for an issue of Tontine, part of Edinburgh University’s Student newspaper. This was the high point of my poetic life so far.

What do you think is your biggest poetic achievement to date?
Being accepted on the University of Edinburgh’s Creative Writing MSc course.

What’s the best thing about writing poetry? And the worst?
The best thing is the sense of achievement you get when you’ve finished writing a poem, after all the excitement you feel when you’re creating something new, and also something “you”. See…? That rhymed. Clearly I’m a poet.
(The worst thing has to be when you spend ages writing something, and it just doesn’t work.)

Got any suggestions for young, upcoming poets?
Read Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled. The man is a legend. That book will tell you everything you need to know, and it’s hilarious. Other than that, just write, experiment with different forms and ideas, etc.

Who/what influences your poetry?
At the minute I’m working on a bit of a fairytale theme, so fairytales are influencing my poetry quite a bit. I’m a huge fan of Carol Ann Duffy, and Margaret Atwood, so they undoubtedly (even if it’s just subconsciously sometimes) influence my poetry.

What would you do, long after I’m gone,

Finding one sun-stroked strand
Of my hair, curling lazily
Among the whites of this book?

What would you do, long after I’m gone,

Catching my face, unchanged and real,
Caged in the wooden bars
Of someone else’s photo-frame?

What would you do, long after I’m gone,

Hearing the crackle of my unfinished voice
Pour from videos of times
We were still strangers?

What would you do, long after I’m gone,

Stumbling through my scent in the street
Would you pick up the trail,
or turn tail and run?
Would you…

What
would you do,
long after I’m gone?


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(Photo by AzRedHeadedBrat)

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