'In the Spotlight' interview with Holly Peters for Lucent Dreaming

Holly Peters in the Spotlight

Holly Peters, whose poem ‘The Rose Tower’ is published in issue 6 of Lucent Dreaming, currently lives in Plymouth and studies English Literature with Publishing at university. She currently holds the position of Plymouth Young Laureate for 2019/20. Her favourite writing companions are her bow-tie-wearing spaniels: Dotty and Booby. You can usually find her curled up with a book, listening to music loudly whilst singing out of tune or daydreaming about the sea.

So, what inspired your piece ‘The Rose Tower’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?

This poem started with an image I had in my mind of an aged tower being smothered by a hoard of roses. Then, when I started to put the story behind it became a dark tale about entrapment and control, but also about girlhood. I tried to use natural imagery and fairy tale allusions to explore power dynamics that criticises patriarchy, as well as celebrating the strength of sisterhood and standing up for one another. 

What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?

I could talk about my favourite books and music all day, but I’ll just mention a few! My all-time favourite writer is Daphne du Maurier, all her stories are so captivating and so beautifully written. The ones that hold a particularly special place in my heart are Jamaica Inn and Rule Britannia. I also really love The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton; I think the way she captures the human experience is so honest and that book really resonated with me.

As for music, I’ve been listening to Patti Smith’s album Horses on repeat recently, I really enjoy how timeless it feels and how she invites elements of spoken word into her music. I’ve also been listening to The Wombats a lot – their songs are just so happy, and they always bring back good memories from past summers. 

What, if anything, are you looking forward to right now and what writing/creative projects are you currently working on?

Once it’s safe to do so, I’m really looking forward to going back to music gigs, I’m really missing the atmosphere. I’ve discovered so many new bands during the lockdown that I’d love to go and check out. I’m also looking forward to seeing all my friends from university again once we’re all back in the same place. 

As for writing, during these strange times I’ve been using every opportunity to write more. I’ve been working on various poems and short stories just for fun and fortunately have felt quite creatively motivated. I’ve also been working on a weekly lockdown diary where I write both prose pieces and poems to document what the lockdown experience has been like for myself and the ways it has changed both my personal experience as well my wider perceptions of society.

Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?

I’d definitely say that my mum is the reason that I’m such an avid reader. I have very fond memories of reading all of Roald Dahl’s and Dr Seuss’ books with her, and then reciting the latter to anyone who would listen to me. I can’t say for certain, but maybe my interest in poetry comes from shouting nursery rhymes at the top of our lungs as we wandered around the supermarket.

My siblings also motivated me to write. Back when I was in primary school, I enjoyed rewriting fairy tales with morbid twists and every night before we went to bed my brother and sister would listen to me, willingly.  I actually recently found the story clearing out the masses of paperwork I’ve hoarded all my life and it is DREADFUL, but we all enjoyed it, nonetheless. 

Where can people see more of you and your work?

I tend to spam my twitter feed with all the links to my writing so that’s the best place. My handle is @holly_e_peters come and say hello! 

I’ll also leave a link to where all my lockdown diaries that I mentioned earlier can be read if you fancy it: http://plymouthculture.co.uk/lockdown-diary/adjusting/

Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative 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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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