Tell everybody a little about yourself
My name is Josiane Vincent. I used to be an English teacher in a vocational high school. I retired 5 years ago. I like reading, going to the museums and the theatre. I am also interested in contemporary dance that I occasionally practise (workshops, choreographical projects).
Was your creativity affected in any way during the lockdown? Did being lockdown make you feel inspired or deflated?
In fact the lockdown somewhat enhanced my creativity because I had a lot of spare time to devote to a creative activity. Moreover writing involves being available to let your imagination flow and develop and to find the energy within yourself to spend sometimes long hours on a single piece of creative work. As my social life was in stand by, these conditions were met during the lockdown that therefore made me feel inspired..
Was it therapeutic doing creative work during lockdown?
No, it wasn't. Being confined, staying at home by myself didn't bother me. Doing creative work was therefore an enjoyable activity that enabled me to spend part of my time in exercising my creativity in a playful way.
How did you occupy your time?
I was quite busy at times. I took part in a collective creative writing workshop consisting in writing one text per day. As I am part of an amateur theatre company, I studied my part and met my partners on zoom to rehearse the postponed play we were to perform in June. I spent some time reading. I also teleworked with a Spanish speaking friend who is a Phd student. I am her proofreader.
What was the main thinking behind your poem submitted to Together Behind Four Walls ?
In fact a friend, Anna Ten, told me about Together Behind Four Walls and sent me the link in case I should be interested in submitting a poem for a book on the lockdown. I agreed to do so because I felt like talking about the particular period we were living and contributing a poem to this effect as from my point of view poetry seemed to be a good way of picturing a situation and grasping the essentials. I was also interested in sharing my experience of the lockdown. It was also a challenge to write a poem in English
What inspires most of your poems,
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what triggers off my poetical writing. However I am often driven by a strong desire to express feelings, sensations, a particular experience or situation, a particular/ loved person. It can be a combination of all this.
Do you have any favourite poems, from all the poems you have written?
I would say Day-dream and Time Sparing.
Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote or one of the first?
No, I don't.
Do you ever think of poems before going to sleep or just after waking up?
Never after waking up. I happen to think of poems when I find it hard to fall asleep. It eases my mind up from whatever prevents me from going to sleep and makes me feel relaxed to complete or refine a piece of creative writing I have started as well.
Do you hand write poems or go directly on to your computer?
Most of the time I hand write my poems first. I write down words, sentences, cross some of them out, put them together. When I consider that the poem is nearly completed, I go on to the computer. The process of hand writing with a pen or pencil in my hand and a blank page, makes it easier to picture what I want to express.
Do you ever give up on poems you have started?
I don't usually give up on poems I have started. For instance I wrote the first stanza and the beginning of the second one of Day-dream a few months ago. I tried to carry on with it several times unsuccessfully. Then when it came to submit a poem for Together Behind Four Walls, I managed to unfold it,probably because it evokes someone who is sort of trapped within her/his psyche. The circumstances were then favorable to my completing it.
Do you do any other creative activities?
I am an amateur stage actress in an amateur theatre company. The most creative part of the work consists in building up the character we are to give life to.
I am also part of a performers'group (Anna Ten's) whose work is based on collective creations.
I sometimes take part in choreographical projects as an amateur dancer when the opportunity occurs.
Do you only focus on poetry or do you also write prose?
I wouldn't consider myself as a writer but I tried my hand at prose writing very occasionnally. The collective creative writing workshop- we were given one theme each day for 8 weeks - was a very good incentive to practise writing (prose mainly, a bit of poetry), develop some skills and imagine narratives. I started a story for the writing challenge but didn't post it.
Do you poems ever have strong messages?
It depends on the theme of the poem. In the poems I submitted there was some hidden message , a bit more clearly expressed at the end of Day dream, that can be read as follows: it is necessary to invent and create a new world on a human and eco-friendly basis.
How would you describe the tone of your poems?
Their tone is rather contrasted: gloomy, peaceful, hopeful, fanciful, playful, realistic.
If you had to write a poem about yourself, how would it start?
I never thought of and don't feel like writing a poem about myself. But If I had to, it could start as follows:
Here I am
And at odd moments
Dancing in my dream
Acting on a fanciful stage...
PLEASE LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
SUPPORT OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR THE BOOK