Taylor Edmonds, whose poem ‘In Bloom’ is published in the debut issue of Lucent Dreaming, is a creative writing graduate from South Wales. Some of her publications include Butcher’s Dog Magazine, The Cardiff Review, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Paper and Ink Zine. Her best talent is daydreaming out of a window when she’s supposed to be paying attention to something important. Read our interview with Taylor below where we find out how she finds inspiration and what writing means to her.
What does writing mean to you?
To me, writing is both a way of expressing myself, and exploring topics that I feel strongly about. It can be a great way of making sense of my experiences/thoughts and feelings by materialising them into something on a page, and the best thing about creative freedom is that I can mould them any way I see fit, so I try to find the beauty in everything when writing. As well as this, I think writing can be a really powerful tool to provoke discussions on important issues; I often explore themes of equality, race and sexuality in my poems.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I’m just about to start my MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University, so I’ve been taking some time to write for myself and read a lot in preparation. This year I’ve had some really great experiences trying new things, as I’ve been performing spoken word around Cardiff, writing about my experiences/reviewing theatre for Wales Arts Review, and I started my own blog!
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
I’m feeling very ready and excited to start my Master’s degree, as I’m looking forward to being back in academia, developing as a writer and producing lots of new work. I’ve realised that I write well to deadlines, as it can be difficult to produce new work regularly without them if you’re feeling in a bit of a creative slump, and for me deadlines give me that little push that I need to get a move on with things.
In the future, I’m looking forward to (hopefully) getting my own chapbook/collection published. I also want to develop as a spoken word artist and work on my performance skills. I’m reading at the Swansea Fringe with Where I’m Coming From (a local spoken word event that promotes BAME Welsh writers) in October, which will be a great experience.
How and where do you find inspiration to write?
It sounds really cliché, but inspiration really is everywhere! I’m very inspired by the work of other poets/performers such as Warsan Shire, Cecilia Knapp, George the Poet and Kaveh Akbar, but also find that it’s important to go to your local open mic night and listen to what new and emerging writers have to say (these can also be a useful support network for yourself).
I always try to draw inspiration from everyday life; you can be inspired by a conversation you hear on the train, an interaction with a stranger, a news article, a piece of graffiti on a derelict building. For example, my poem ‘In Bloom’, which was published in the first issue of Lucent Dreaming, was inspired by a conversation about old wives’ tales. The poem is based on the tale that if you ate the core of an apple and swallowed a pip, an apple tree would grow inside of you. I just thought this was such a surreal and rich image, that I decided to base a poem on it.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
I think you have to really want to be the best writer you can be, and be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to editing and improving yourself. I’ve gone down the academic route, though this is expensive, and I don’t think you necessarily need to have a degree to write. But it’s a good environment to nurture your creativity and get valuable feedback from others on your work. Universities like Cardiff also have scholarships and funding opportunities, which is how I’m able to do my MA!
You also need to be open up to criticism and rejection. Poetry especially is often personal and precious, and it can really sting when somebody says something negative about your work, or you receive a rejection from a magazine or journal. It’s important to be able to shake off some of that pride and realise that everybody’s thoughts on your work are valid, even if you disagree with them, and can be used for improvement. Especially in the process of submiting your work to publications – you will get many, many rejections! – but it’s all experience and you can learn from it.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, strange and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.