Shelley Szender is a fantastic and funny poet whose work was transcends both comedy and poetry. She has been a regular on the Torbay poetry scene for the last few years and has begun to become known further afield. As well as comedy, she also writes and performs serious pieces of heart and subtlety, pure emotion and beauty. She is also a wonderful person whose company I very much enjoy.
Lately she has been hosting Stanza Extravaganza, using her trademark wit and charm to create a very jovial and happy atmosphere at the Artizan Gallery in Torquay.
The chance to interview her for my website is one that I could not pass up!
How did you first get in to spoken word?
I have always loved Poetry and I use to write as a teenager but would only show my Mum. She suggested I show to my English Teacher but is was the 1980’s and I didn’t want to admit to liking Poetry. Throughout my life I read and wrote poems but it wasn’t until Xmas 2015. I was at my Friends House and I saw you perform with Ian B, Ken B, Ellie D and Lucy Lepchani and I thought they write poetry how I write Poetry. I then went to Poetry Island and was a regular audience member. Then, my friend Sue Cose wrote to you and you wrote me a Poem to go and perform and I did in July 2016 and never looked back. It has been the making of me.
Who are your influences?
I have a number of influences my favourite poems are Rudyard Kipling ‘If’ and Maya Angelou ‘Still I Rise’ I also love Wilfred Owen and Siegfreid Dawson but also John Cooper Clark and Roger Mcgough.
What is your process for writing a new piece?
To write a new piece of Poetry. I can be out running or walking, driving in my car or at work. As soon as I can I write the words down sometimes it becomes a finished piece other times the words sit in a book and then morph into another poem.
Do you have a specific time and place for writing?
I usually write in the evening it helps me relax after work or Sunday morning when the house is lovely and quiet. I am either in my bed or on the sofa.
You’ve done a few poems now based on different parts of Paignton. Where next?
I have another poem about Paignton that needs more work. I have a Poem’s about Cullompton, Bideford, Newton Abbot and a couple on Devon however I do have one brewing about Exeter although it’s at a very embryonic stage.
What does the future have in store for you?
I would love to write as a full time job but I would love to have a try at Presenting. However I am open to offers. I am just waiting for Lady Luck to knock on my door.