Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview with Juliet Wilson

I don't remember when I first discovered Juliet Wilson's blog - Crafty Green Poet - but I've always found it worth visiting for many reasons including the haikus and other poems, beautiful photos, descriptions, and discussions of nature (she lives in Scotland), posts on crafty projects, and reviews of movies and books (for reviews also check out another blog she runs, Over Forty Shades). I'm happy she accepted my invitation to be interviewed here.

For starters, here's some background on Juliet:

Juliet is a writer, crafter, adult education tutor and conservation volunteer. She has written poetry since she lived in Malawi for two years, but recently has started writing much more fiction and non-fiction. She is currently working on her first novel. She blogs about literature, nature, environmental issues and recycled crafts at Crafty Green Poet and edits the poetry journal Bolts of Silk.

Now on to the interview...

HK: Why do you write?
JW: I write basically because I feel I have something to say and because I enjoy it. I like putting words together and polishing them to create something that hopefully other people will enjoy.

HK: Why are you drawn to poetry in particular?
JW: Poetry was what first spoke to me I think, thanks to a school teacher who used an excellent poetry anthology in introducing us to poetry. Plus I have always been a relatively concise sort of person, so the fact that poems can be really short appealed to me. (My favourite poetic form is the haiku, both for its brevity and its connection with nature.)

HK: What do you think your strengths are as a writer, and what do you hope to improve on?
JW: I think the fact I'm very concise benefits my poetry. However, now that I'm working on a novel, I'm starting to think I need to expand my writing sometimes! In general I think there's always room to improve and I enjoy attending writing classes.

HK: Through your art (and your blog) you communicate a love of nature and a commitment to environmentalist principles. In what ways has your art been an effective vehicle for addressing and promoting various environmental issues? (e.g. have you found that your work has changed people's minds, made an issue better known, etc.)
JW: This is an interesting question and it can be difficult to find out the answer, particularly looking at the bigger picture of environmental issues! I do know, though, that several people have read books after I've posted reviews about them (one reader of my blog seems to read almost every book that I review!). A couple of my readers have left comments on my blog to say they've started getting out into nature more often as a result of reading my posts.

HK: You also make a lot of crafts (and recycle materials while doing so). Describe what you feel are some of your cleverest moments of craftiness.
JW: I recently blogged about bookmarks I made from left over thread and chunky beads (which inspired a few people to make their own!). Even more recently I've been making bookmarks threading small beads onto discarded fishing line that I found by the Water of Leith, the river I volunteer to help look after. These are probably my best examples of using imaginative recycling to make pretty things that people want to use.

HK: If you could assemble a panel of any three poets (dead or alive) to give you feedback on your work and discuss poetry with you, who would they be and why?
JW: Margaret Atwood because she knows how to make every word count and every poem of hers feels significant. Chrystos because she has such a wonderful way with words and such a clear sense of connection with nature as well as a genuine engaged commitment to human rights, yet even her most political work is lyrical. Edwin Morgan because of his amazingly inventive poetic imagination. I think those three would make for a very stimulating discussion on how to make the most imaginative and powerful poetry.

Thank you, Juliet!