In recent years I’ve been told my introduction to the writing scene is ironically, intrinsically poetic.
I was 9 and needed a babysitter and something to distract from personal chaos, so I sat at the back of the Neville studio with a book and a bear I’d later take on stage for my first debut. I was lucky enough to watch Mouthy Poets in action and instantly fell in love with the poet’s abilities to make trauma seem pretty, relatable and sometimes even comedic. The community and love in that room was addictive and later inspired me to create similar spaces in which I hope to make people feel half as good as I did in that space for the first time.
After my introduction to the scene I started to find comfort in writing the chaos of growing up into coherent sentences that seemed to make sense of the world. I continued to do small things within the creative scene and turned to poetry when nothing else really made sense. At this point I’d just turned 14 and upon a brief search for jobs I stumbled across a position at the local library to shadow write for a poet whose name I recognised.
The name of a poet I’d met five years earlier as part of Mouthy Poets.
I applied for the job in hope they’d remember me and sure enough I got the job. I spent my Saturdays in a tiny room, sorting out admin, supporting with workshops and most importantly giving myself time to write, receive feedback and perform.
This opportunity gave me confidence to explore other mediums and most of my free time was taken up by writing competitions, open mics and workshops as well as a new creative group at Nottingham Playhouse called “Homegrown”. The older I got, the more time and energy I put into applying myself within the creative industry.
My constant motivation to advocate, create and attract an audience of individuals who struggle to be heard has led me to be in a fortunate enough position to have my voice heard in important conversations around the community. As a member of Nottingham Playhouse youth board and chair for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature I have turned my hopes and dreams of becoming a poet, practitioner and activist into something I now deem realistic.
Now here I am, a 19-year-old, who has written a play currently touring at the Nottingham University Edinburgh fringe and recently become an intern for The Nottingham Poetry Festival. As well as currently being in full time work as an English intervention mentor where I am fortunate enough to teach poetry and support lessons when assistance is required.