Tell everybody a little about yourself.
I’m a writer from south London and founder of the feminist arts night, She Grrrowls, usually taking place at The Poetry Café in Covent Garden, and currently on Instagram.
Was your creativity affected in anyway during the lockdown? Did being lockdown make you feel inspired or deflated?
I don’t feel as if my creativity has been affected, but having extra time that would normally be spent commuting and socialising has meant I’ve also explored my visual art more as well as my poetry. That’s just been daily drawings, but I’d like to do more with this.
Was it therapeutic doing creative work during lockdown?
For me, being creative is therapeutic most of the time, and having a daily habit of writing has helped me mentally.
How did you occupy your time?
I’m still working through a lot of things that have piled up over time, and I’m good at keeping myself busy. The time is allowing me to get on top of things, but also hopefully get into better habits. Daily walks of at least an hour and a half (just half of my usual commute) has been something I plan to carry on where possible.
What was the main thinking behind your poem submitted to Together Behind Four Walls?
In a time where I think a lot of people feel powerless, I thought it would be nice to be involved in something charitable, as well as something lasting that is of the current times.
What inspires most of your poems?
I’ve been part of a writing group called ‘Poetry in a time of being alone’ on Facebook. I had previously been writing daily but sometimes it would just be a couple of lines, and this has allowed me to complete full poem drafts each day. I didn’t used to find prompts worked for me, but this has very much changed, and these ones always seem to inspire!
Do you have any favourite poems, from all the poems you have written?
I tend to like the poems I’ve written where I’m working out emotional experiences, usually in free verse and especially where I have used different metaphors or symbols. So, quite different to my contribution here, though my favourite line is probably the simile.
Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote or one of the first?
I don’t, but I do have the first book I dedicated to writing poetry as a teenager, ironically called ‘Sunny Thoughts’, when they were anything but sunny!
Do you ever think of poems before going to sleep or just after waking up?
More so just before going to sleep, and it’s important to make a note (in the past, I naïvely believed I would remember it). I usually write my poems on my phone these days, unless I’m in a workshop, where I’ll bring my book along.
Do you ever give up on poems you have started?
I still have poems that I’ve started and I’m always open to the idea of them continuing. I don’t really give up on them, but because I produce so many, it’s natural that some will come to the front.
Do you do any other creative activities?
As I mentioned, I enjoy visual art and my book ‘Circles’ is one long illustrated poem, and I’d like to incorporate visuals more, even in terms of creating text pieces that I’ve done in the past from my poems with stencils and spray paint. I’ve also danced since the age of 4 or 5, and this doesn’t tend to be creative, but I did choregraph a doubles pole routine at university and it won first place in a competition, so if only I had more time I’d love to do more. I’ve got an ukulele I don’t know how to play because I was led to believe it’s easy and it’s not (thanks Amanda Palmer… maybe one day!)
Do you only focus on poetry or do you also write prose?
I mainly focus on poetry, as it comes more naturally, but I do write both fiction and non-fiction prose and I would love to develop my skills in this area more.
Do your poems ever have strong messages?
My poems often have strong messages, yes, in the sense that the personal is political.
How would you describe the tone of your poems?
Unapologetically emotional, serious, strong, honest, vulnerable, and raw. And feminine. This was once used as a criticism, so I embrace it.
If you had to write a poem about yourself, how would it start?
Most of my poems are about myself, but one I wrote for a project a friend started that I haven’t got round to being a part of because I wanted to memorise it and that’s one of my biggest weaknesses. It started:
I am abseiling to the top
of the climbing frame
Bio: Carmina Masoliver is a poet from south London, and founder of She Grrrowls feminist arts nights. She has been sharing her poetry on both the page and the stage for over a decade, and her small chapbook was published by Nasty Little Press in 2014. Her latest book ‘Circles’ is published by Burning Eye Books (2019) and is an illustrated epic poem. Carmina was long-listed for the Young Poet Laureate for London award in 2013, and the inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships in 2017. Most recently, she was longlisted for the Out-Spoken Prize in Performance Poetry 2018. Alumni of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective, she has featured at nights such as Bang Said the Gun, and festivals including Latitude, Bestival and Lovebox both as a collective and individually. She performed internationally whilst living abroad, in Singapore, and in Spain.
PLEASE LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
SUPPORT OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR THE BOOK