Today poetry collection House of Weeds is released ‘Weeds and humans overlap in this prickly-sweet fusion of poetry and illustration, painting tales of society’s outsiders’ Here is an interview with its author Amy Charlotte Kean.

 


 

ack 4questionsklpoetrymg


 

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

 

I’m on a journey to become as weird as David Lynch. I’d say I’m about 3% of the way there, so this may take a while. Most of what I write – my columns, my poems, by books – are about being yourself and accepting your weirdness. Some of us are more capable than others, because being yourself is an extremely brave act. Weirdness is feared intensely in the world, often by insecure people.

 
My first book The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks is about being completely, unapologetically yourself and not worrying what people think. I try not to be cliched about mental health. In the book, the main character Elodie-Rose deals with a constant buzzing and whirring in her brain whenever she decides to give zero fucks for something the day has thrown her way; like bullying or sexual harassment or even being told she’s too loud in debating class. Eventually, when she decides to live life as she chooses, the whirring stops. And in my upcoming poetry book, House of Weeds, every character has been labelled an outcast by society. The poems are about rebelling against norms and embracing your strange. Making peace with it.

I’ve been influenced by the oddest, most magical content: Jim Henson, Roald Dahl, The Mighty Boosh, The Worst Witch, horoscopes, Ella Frears, Anne Carson and Michael Rosen. There will always be a dark humour in my work, because I believe even the saddest, most terrifying situations need laughter.

 

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

 

Every single waking second of every day I spend working, with my laptop open. It’s ruining my eyesight. And I live on Twitter, despite how angry it makes me. I write a lot of comment pieces on the themes of my books and have a regular column for a magazine called Shots, which is designed for the creative community. I’m known as outspoken, which is weird in and of itself, because I only talk about what I believe. In the book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson talks about how we’re cultivating a society where only the bland will thrive. I try and remember that when I write.

 

3, What projects are you working on at present?

 
House of Weeds, published by Fly on the Wall Press, is coming out on 17th May. As soon as the world is back to normal and it’s appropriate to do so, me and the book’s illustrator Jack Wallington are staging an immersive exhibition in Peckham, so you can go straight to the scene of the book, and live like its characters. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m also writing an audio sitcom and am in the final stages of a novel about the dark, exploitative side of the volunteering industry, set in Kenya.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

 

I struggle with the inaccessibility of poetry, sometimes. So many regular people simply feel they “don’t get it.” What a tragedy! I don’t want poetry to be a secret club, for English grads from redbrick universities who use the same words and voices. It defeats the object of the world being gifted this unrivalled art form that allows people to rip out a piece of their ridiculous brains and throw it on a page to see what happens. When I started writing poetry I was stunned at how much I could get away with, how much I was able to speak my mind, but do it beautifully, with wit and surprise. Poetry is therapy, genuinely. It’s becoming more accessible over time, and when my friends say to me “I don’t get it” it makes me sad, because they don’t realise that all you have to do is try.

 

 

 


Amy photo

Amy Charlotte Kean is an advertising strategist, innovation consultant and writer from Essex. Her first book, the number 1 bestselling The Little Girl Who Gave Zero F*cks was published in 2018 with Unbound. Amy’s rants, reviews, short fiction and poems have been published in The Guardian, Huffington Post, Disclaimer, Glamour, Abridged, Burning House Press, Poetry Village and many others. She was shortlisted in the Reflex Flash Fiction competition and was an Ink, Sweat & Tears poet of the month. Her second book, House of Weeds, is out in May with Fly on the Wall Press.


houseweedsflypress

click here to buy your copy


Four Questions with Patricia M. Osborne ( @PMOsborneWriter )

janita-sumeiko-AprilFourQuestions529471

 

Patricia M. Osborne

 

10505283_10153043681670803_135361036369394884_n (2)

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I’m a writer in my early 60s, married, a mother to three, and grandmother to five and although I was born in Liverpool I live in West Sussex. I have just finished the end of a four-year study for an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Brighton. As a writer, I am a novelist and poet which work perfectly as a combination for me because I don’t always have time to get into novel mode but can always start a new poem. I love nature, myth and folklore, and all these influence my poetry.

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I use Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog which I intend to be more active on now the MA has finished. I’ve dabbled in Instagram but need to understand this better and I’ve yet to tackle Pinterest. Does it eat into writing time? Yes it does and sometimes Twitter can be tedious. I have a routine: marketing in the morning, along with critique and editing, which leaves the afternoon/evening free for my writing time. Of course life gets in the way too, but I do my best to keep to the structure. My muse works better later in the day so in a way it’s a perfect plan as I can be thinking about what I want to write while marketing.
I haven’t published a collection of poetry yet but I am working on it. However, I’ve had many individual poems published in anthologies and magazines and even had a first prize win for my poem Grandad’s Garden. I was inspired to write this poem following a poetry workshop run by Alison Chisholm at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2017 when she handed us all a pinecone.


Grandad’s Garden

I turn the cone upside down,
it changes to a flower,
like the dahlias
in Grandad’s garden
where creepy earwigs
hide inside.

I paint my pinecone fiery orange,
use a green-striped straw for the stem,

wrap it in mistletoe paper,
place it under the tree
as a special present
for Mummy
on Christmas Day,

to make her smile,
cos she cries in bed, every night,
since Grandad died.

More of my published poems may be found on my website.


3, What projects are you working on at present?

I’ve just finished a collection of poetry for my MA dissertation titled ‘Spirit Mother’ based on myth, folklore and legend around trees. This has been an interesting and exciting project. I’m hoping to get this published later this year or early next year. I am also working on my second novel, ‘The Coal Miner’s Son,’ and a cover reveal along with releasing the first four chapters is imminent. This works as a sequel to my debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga, or may be read as a standalone.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry for me is story telling in a few words and I love story telling which is why most of my poetry is written in narrative form. I love the way my subjects spring to life through layering and editing. Poetry, along with all writing, gives me the opportunity to escape to any place or any time of my choosing and I can be anyone or anything I want to be.


Where can you find me?
Facebook: Patricia M Osborne, Writer
Twitter: PMOsborneWriter
Website: http://patriciamosbornewriter.wordpress.com
Email: patricia.m.osbornewriter@gmail.com

Link to debut novel House of Grace, A Family Saga
http://mybook.to/HouseofGrace
Watch this space for upcoming poetry collections.


tumblr_oqa8inOc1K1vuv1n1_r1_og_1280