When do you say, ‘I am a poet?’ That is different for everyone. Some people have been writing poetry for many years, and still not consider themselves a ‘real’ poet. For others, poetry writing is something that landed on their path unexpectedly and they suddenly find themselves in the role of poet.
Poet Elinor might relate to this second category. Even though she has been writing for a very long time, she only started to write poetry in recent years. Elinor explains: ‘I have been a keen creative writer since a young age, and although my initial interest was in prose, my time at university has taught me to embrace all forms of writing, and I soon kindled a love for writing poetry.’ (From Poetry Statement Elinor)
Trying out new things and building your confidence are two of the main ingredients in the process of developing yourself as a poet. On her blog ‘How Big, How Blue’ Elinor shares her reflections: ‘Before studying Creative Writing at University, I had never seen myself as a poet. It was a form of writing I admired, and enjoyed to study, but was not one I felt I could attempt, having only ever written in prose. The course, and the assignments set by our tutors, encouraged us to try writing in all forms – this led me, and a number of my peers, to kindle loves in writing that we had never expected. For one of my closest friends, it was script-writing. For me, it was poetry. It was shortly before Christmas, when working towards my first big creative writing assignment, that I turned to poetry to put my imagination into words. I wrote my first three poems about the Black Country (my ancestral home town), and when my assignment was graded with a first, my confidence in my poetry-writing bloomed. For my second creative assignment, I wrote five more, this time with more varied subject matters – from the Loch Ness monster to the Little Ships of Dunkirk.’
Image. It’s important to stay inspired and try new things, when you are writing new work. (From: Twitter @NellieFayeCole )
Elinor’s confidence grew, and she decided it was time for the next step: to share her work with a wider public. She submitted work to become Poet of the Month at Poets’ Corner. Elinor: ‘I have learnt many valuable lessons over the course of my first year at University. One of the most challenging, perhaps, has been learning to take a leap of faith – to have the courage to seize new opportunities as they arise, to boost your CV and to generally enrich your soul. Opportunities present themselves to us every day of our lives, and whilst studying at University, they are quite literally thrown at you left, right and centre. Luckily for me, it was the opportunity to work with Poets’ Corner that was thrown my way, on the 1st June, 2015. When guest poetry curator Patrick emailed back to tell me I’d been chosen as their Poet for June, I was absolutely over the moon!. That private little moment of joy suddenly made it all worthwhile – from all the hard work put into the poems, to the courage needed to take the opportunity in the first place.’
Image. Elinor writing new work for Poets’ Corner’. (From: Twitter @NellieFayeCole )
Do you consider yourself to be a poet? Let us know your stories about trying new things, growing your confidence and taking a leap of faith!
In celebration of the ‘Black Country Tales’ exhibition, which will open at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery on the 19th of March, Poets’ Corner will give you a unique insight in the process from poetry writing to a public exhibition. Poet Elinor Cole, who will be exhibiting seven of her poems in the ‘Black Country Tales’ exhibition, will share her story with you.