Taiwo Hassan in the spotlight

Taiwo Hassan in the spotlight

Tonight we put the spotlight on Taiwo Hassan, whose poem ‘on treading through the women in me’ is published in issue 10 of Lucent Dreaming. You can watch and listen to the author read the piece on YouTube.

So, what inspired your piece ‘on treading through the women in me’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?

The poem “on treading through the women in me” was inspired by my maternal family’s history. There were so many stories my mother told me about my grandmother and others told by my grandmother about her mother too. I wanted to pay a tribute to their strength, experiences and essence, in a way and I was really lucky to do that with this poem. Motherhood is a theme I tend to write about a lot of times but in this case, it felt deeply personal. From paying respects to my lineage, showing both the pains, joy and beauty of motherhood to expressing grief as more of passed down emotion, the poem grew to be more than just scribbled thoughts to an obligation for me. So like the title of the poem implies, all the women in me, in my blood inspired it. 

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

One of my favourite books of all time would be Animorphs by K.A Applegate, a collection of these sci-fi stories I read when I was growing up. It shaped a lot for the reader in me and just made me imagine more. Others would be Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Faceless by Amma Darko. These books are quite memorable for me. I’m a big TV show enthusiast so it’s really hard to pick favorites, but 13 Reasons Why is a show that always comes through for me during questions like these. Others include Lovecraft Country, I May Destroy You, Insecure, The Help and The Shape Of Water. I could really go on and on. I enjoy historical films too. Downton Abbey is my favorite of all time. I’m a singer so music is a central element in my life. A lot of my favourite songs stem from RnB.

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

I’m looking forward to being better at my craft, both in music and writing. I want to learn more ways to express myself better, in several genres of writing apart from poetry. I want to attend more writing workshops and explore prose and essays this year. I’m at a stage where I feel really confident in both my crafts but learning is always a journey and I just want to keep riding that bus. I have my first chapbook forthcoming so I really look forward to promoting that a lot. I’m working on another chapbook with a good friend and it’s a project I absolutely look forward to just freeing myself in and opening myself into. I’m also working on certain musical projects  with my friends and it’s been amazing.

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 got into writing because of my affinity for books. Right from a very young age, I was always an avid reader. I read anything and everything. Seeing where the imaginations from these things I read took me to and knowing there was someone behind them, I wanted to be that person too. My mother was a great inspiration. My family and a couple of friends also helped with a lot of books to read. I started my writing journey with prose but I wasn’t really the patient one so I found poetry and it’s been such a great time since then. Poetry taught me so much and revealed certain parts of me that just made my works more. I still plan to go back to my first love though. 

Where can people see more of you and your work?

I have a linktr.ee account where most of my work is. It’s linktr.ee/taiwohassan. My twitter handle is @symplytaiwo and my Instagram is @iamtsoul.

Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine of surreal writing and art, and publisher of emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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