I didn’t follow any particular process writing Here Comes the Sun. I wrote the poems in this book on loose pieces of paper, while I was in different countries in Europe. Some of the poems were my reflecting on things and others – scenes that were unfolding at the time. I think this was one of the first chapbooks I put together that had a strong theme. I had written a lot of love poems previously, when I was a baby poet and posting on Tumblr. There are still poems on love in this book, but not as many. There are poems that have humour, are silly and a section of micro-poems too.
When I was putting together the poems in Here Comes the Sun I took care in editing the poems and, in saying them out loud, making sure they sounded right too. I find the movement in traveling, from train to subway to airport etc, exhilarating, so I tried to capture that.
People say ‘oh, you wrote a book,’ and treat it as if it is an achievement. I used to shit on that and say ‘it’s nothing,’ That’s BS. Writing a book takes a lot of courage, a lot of I don’t know what I am doing but I want to be able to communicate with you, the reader, and cause you to see something in a different way or feel emotions. It takes a lot of emotional labour. There is trauma in my poems on travel and I don’t talk about it. Being vulnerable can lead people to use that as a method to hurt you.
Here Comes the Sun, as a phrase, means all the good stuff to me, like hope and being alive and sunshine and summer and beaches and stepping out of an airport into a different country and feeling fresh air.
Hello. I thought I would do a quick cover reveal of my next chapbook, A Love Like This. It’s made up of a bunch of short poems on a toxic, shitty relationship that I experienced when I was younger. It surprised me how many poems I wrote on this period of my life, a lot of them written during the relationship. I wrote all the time when I was younger. It has some light-hearted moments, the poems have a darker, cynical edge to them. I will update you when I have more info. In the meantime, if you want to read some of my poems you can get my chapbook Pocket Poems – 12 micro-poems on travel and a few of them are fun, silly little moments I experienced. https://payhip.com/KLPoetry
‘Lewington does it again, and proves why she’s one of my contemporary favorite voices. Honest observations in sparse lines that don’t shy from cynicism, sarcasm and the gritty truths that comprise day to day life.
As with many of Lewington’s chapbooks, this one is also themed, and is primarily focused on hotel room experiences.
Highly recommended!’ Nicholas Trandahl, author of Pulling Words, and Think of Me.
Hotel Life contains poems that were written whilst i was traveling, on scraps of paper that were to hand and that have now been hand made into a chapbook by CWP Collective press. There are forty poems. This is another one of my themed chapbooks, on hotel life – from the endless corridors, vending machines, and nightlife.
UK.£10 Int.£13 PayPal. (Don’t forget to include your address!)
I don’t know about you, but I am aiming to get more of my writing published this year. This blog is a (short!) list of literary journals/publications that are accepting writing & art at the moment. Don’t forget to read the guidelines on their website, they can vary from publication to publication!
Buy Will You Still Love Me if I Love Her? on Amazon
1. Tell us a little about your chapbook Will You Still Love Me if I Love Her? and the inspiration behind it?
Will You Still Love Me if I Love Her? is my first published book and I am so proud to have it out in the world! It is a retrospective look at the sapphic experiences of my youth and my inevitable queer realisation. I originally wrote it as a tool to come out to my family, hence the title, but it also addresses friends and God too.
2. What experiences or people have had a significant impact on your writing?
I am very fortunate to have had a writing buddy for literally all of my life. My friend Ebony and I were born on the same day, in the same hospital, and have grown up together. We are both very creative and it has been really inspiring to have someone so talented and passionate close to me. I genuinely don’t know what I would be doing without her support. There are also a lot of incredible people in the writing community on Twitter who have inspired and encouraged me so much! Imani Campbell, Juliette Sebock, and Lenee H all have such distinct voices and reading their work is a delight. There are so many amazing writers in this world! As for experiences, they mainly seem to be negative ones — experiences that I need to process, confront, and reflect upon. Writing can be very therapeutic.
3. Since you started to write how do you feel you have changed, and your writing developed?
I started writing when I was in a depressed state and it really helped me to understand what I was feeling and gave me a chance to express those emotions in a safe way. It is emotional looking back on poems and seeing how my perception of the world has changed over this past year and how my mental state has improved. I also became very interested in poetry in general and read as much as I could – especially from online literary journals – and my understanding of language and style has made me a lot more self-critical. I want to put out my best work, the poems that I am really proud of.
4. Which period of your life do you write about most often?
A lot of my poems in Will You Still Love Me if I Love Her? were about my teenage years and crushes on girls that I developed but refused to acknowledge, and subsequently by late teens and early twenties when I was involved in serious relationships and finally realising my queer identity. Now, I tend to write about recent experiences as a way to process them as I go through them.
5. What did you edit out of your book?
With a chapbook, you have to be very selective with which and how many poems you include. I wanted to create a narrative that readers would be able to follow while staying true to my own perception of events and the order they happened. Some poems were removed because they confused that narrative, and other poems were taken out because I didn’t feel like they were strong enough. All of my beta readers suggested changing the order of the poems and I think that made the collection so much better.
6. How many hours a day do you write?
It changes every day! I usually begin each day journalling and then turn some of those thoughts into poems. Sometimes a poem takes a minute, sometimes I agonise over it for week.
7. In terms of receiving feedback for your writing who or what do you use for a sounding board?
I have been very fortunate to make connections on Twitter with some truly talented writers and editors, so I send my poems and manuscripts to them for their opinions. Poetry is very subjective so I get a mix of responses. I think it’s important to go with your gut but feedback is definitely helpful.
8. What are the aspects of writing that you find challenging?
A lot of my writing surrounds my own experiences, mostly to do with traumatic events, so I have found it difficult to decide what to put out into the world and how to word things so that certain individuals can’t be identified, in respect for them and myself. It is also really difficult sometimes to figure out if a poem is done or not. You can keep tweaking and tweaking forever but at some point you have to let it go.
9. Other than your writing, what else occupies your time?
I have recently gotten back into playing the piano! I started around ten years ago but stopped due to anxiety. It feels really good to be back sat at those black and whites keys that I loved so much! I also love wandering through nature and taking photographs.
Thank you so much for this interview! I have really enjoyed it!