Dahlia Lotus Black, whose poem ‘At the End of the Rainbow’ is published in the seventh edition of Lucent Dreaming, is a previously unpublished poet from Perth, Scotland. She started writing poetry only a few years ago, after having been inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s works. Her work is predominantly dark and focused upon heavy imagery.
So, what inspired your piece ‘At the End of the Rainbow’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?
At first I was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ that’s where the sense of longing for freedom comes from in the first half of the poem. Further into writing however, the poem began to develop a darker meaning. In full, the poem is about feeling trapped inside my own head and longing for a way out. A lot of my poetry is dark and based around mental health issues, I find that way I can write my own truth.
What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
My favourite books would have to be Jack Kerouac’s ‘Big Sur’ and John William’ ‘Stoner’. Kerouac’s book does an incredible job of describing alcohol dependency and the effects it can have on a persons mental wellbeing. It is also one of Kerouac’s more personal pieces, giving a real insight into his character. Not to mention his beautifully poetic prose, the way he is able to capture the soul just by describing so much as the scenery. Williams’ ‘Stoner’ I find I can relate to on a personal level, making the story seem more grounded in reality to me. The main character, John Stoner, lives an incredibly unremarkable life, which in my opinion, makes this character so well written. Unlike most characters from novels, Stoner really seems to me like someone I might know, or that anyone may know in some aspect of their lives, making the events that much more heartbreaking. Lastly, I’d like to talk about my love for Beetlejuice (both the movie and the musical). Beetlejuice to me is somewhat of a comfort, whenever I’m down I’m able to sit and watch the movie or sit and listen to the Broadway Cast Recording and it almost feels to me like I’m home.
What, if anything, are you looking forward to right now and what writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
Right now I am extremely excited to be starting college doing a writing course in Glasgow. Writing is my truest passion and I intend to pursue a career in it so I am overjoyed to be learning how to expand my horizons when it comes to writing. Currently, I am working towards my first poetry collection, as well as working in a handful of short stories. What with college coming up I imagine these will become more side projects, though it is my every intention to give them all the attention I can give them.
Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?
Firstly I remember in primary school being given a short story project. I was thrilled because it almost didn’t seem like work to me as I enjoyed it so much. My mum told me a few years later that one parents evening, my teacher had told her I had a real potential in pursuing a career in creative writing, which meant a lot to me. Beyond that, far more recently, I became inspired by Beat Generation literature, specifically the poetry of Allen Ginsberg, which inspired me to start wring my own poetry. Before reading the likes of Ginsberg’s work, I had the idea that poetry was to rely on solid structure and the string use of rhyme to convey an idea. Upon reading Ginsberg’s work however, I discovered that poetry can be anything you want it to be, as long as it truly means something to you. Finally I would like to mention some of my closest friends, who whenever I send a poem their way, meet it with praise which truly inspires me even when I feel like a certain piece isn’t my best work, instead of giving up I try to make it better.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
Currently, Lucent Dreaming holds my only published piece. Whilst working on my poetry collection, I have decided to keep most of my work private for publication reasons, but, you can find me on twitter or instagram (both @DahliaLotusPoet).