I’ve written poetry since I can remember. It started out as something I would just do for myself, sharing them occasionally with friends and family. I became interested in performing poetry when I successfully applied for the role of Birmingham Young Poet Laureate in 2012. I continued to write and perform, and since moving to Bath for university, I have become part of the thriving spoken word community in Bath and Bristol, which has really helped me to develop.
Ahead of Platform, I’m trying to get to as many poetry open mics and slam events as possible, including going to Unislam in Leicester as part of the first team to ever enter from the University of Bath. I’ve also challenged myself to write every day, whether it is a page or performance poem, or even editing.
An exciting project I am working on is a collaboration with a fellow scholar, Dan Innes. We are creating a collection of short poems paired with photographs. It has been really interesting to challenge myself to write poems based on images and has inspired me to try different writing styles.
I’m interested in finding ways I can link my course, Chemical Engineering, into my work. My course has shaped the way I approach doing things, including poetry. I have found more engineering references creeping into my work. Somehow I managed to get mass balances into a poem.
I draw a lot from my own experiences in my writing, so friends and family come up in my writing often. The poetry community in Bristol and Bath has played a big part in my development. With so many incredible artists in the local area, it’s impossible to pick out only a few to name as sources of inspiration. Local events such as Raise the Bar, Milk and Hammer and Tongue in Bristol, and Rhyme and Reason, To Be Frank and Spotlight in Bath have exposed me to a wide variety of styles of spoken word. Outside of the local area, my favourite artists include Hollie McNish, Shane Koyczan and Buddy Wakefield.
Not really; I can’t sing or draw or dance. Poetry has always been my way of expressing myself.
With thanks to Elly Williams for her generous support for this Arts Scholarship.
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Poetry has always been my way of expressing myself