Maltese-born Jeremy Mifsud, whose poem Skyline is published in the third issue of Lucent Dreaming, is a queer, autistic writer and poet, currently reading for a master’s in Cognitive Science at the University of Malta. Social ineptitude becomes a catalyst for his art as he weaves unsaid words into poems and short fiction. His poetry appears in the published collection Welcome to the Sombre Days (2018) and in Isabelle Kenyon’s anthology Please Hear What I’m Not Saying (2018). This week we find out what inspired his poem and why writing is so important to him.
What inspired your piece, ‘Skyline’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
The poem was inspired by a digital design that Ramon Azzopardi Fiott uploaded online. The image portrayed an exhausted, hunched immigrant worker, with a city’s skyline on his back, weighing him down. I remember it being in response to the news of immigrant workers (who help build our country) living in extremely poor conditions in cowsheds as they are not paid enough for their work. I transposed the figure of a dying man being the personification of a dying, polluted city which is so out of touch with Mother Nature that there’s no hope for him. When I came across Lucent Dreaming on Twitter and saw that you’re looking for surreal poetry, I knew I had to submit ‘Skyline’.
What does writing mean to you?
Writing is an essential part of who I am. I discovered that by being honest with myself in my own poetry, I was able to sufficiently process hardships and traumatic events. It may be a cliché, but for me, writing is truly a form of therapy. It helps me understand whatever happens in my life and weave it into something artistic and beautiful.
What writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
At the moment, I’m primarily focused on having several poems (& some short stories) published in online journals. I’ve also been working on a chapbook & full-length collection, which are in different stages. Yet to be titled, the chapbook I’m editing involves poems which I wrote on a bus and were inspired by events I’ve seen while travelling or what other passengers have done.
What are you most excited about right now and for the future?
Right now, I’m quite excited about being published in Lucent Dreaming and being in this interview. I can’t believe it! The next couple of years are going to be exciting. I’ll be graduating with a Masters in Cognitive Science (hopefully) and continuing to expand my writing portfolio.
How and where do you find inspiration to do your craft?
Perhaps unfortunately, a lot of inspiration comes from my intimate relationships. I attempt to dig deep into my emotional state to uncover the rawest emotion and transform that into writing. Other pieces are inspired by news articles or art with a message regarding environmental or social injustice, just as ‘Skyline’ was. As a poet, I also find beauty and interest in mundane things, such as flies sitting on clothing lines or bus passengers on their daily commute.
What advice would you give those who want to do what you do?
A lot of people would say that writing is a craft, so hone it and learn how to master it. From a poetry perspective, I would focus on finding your voice: what is it that you need others to hear you say?
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I have self-published a full-length poetry collection called ‘Welcome to the Sombre Days’, which mainly focuses on my younger self growing up in a Catholic household, coming out as gay and dealing with depression. Updates and links on the poetry & stories I have published are accessible from my site (https://poetrybyjeremy.wordpress.com/). I’m also fairly active on twitter (@poetrybyjeremy) where I’m more a person rather than just a writer.
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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.