|Image from An Introduction to Poetry Week|
My introduction to poetry evolved after feeling inspired by a Birkbeck College Black Women's Writing Course. All this academic writing was fine but I felt motivated to have a go at creative writing of my own.
I discovered that poetry came in such vast shapes, forms and sizes. I fell in love with the elements of poetic rhythms; the voice, expression of feeling, use of imagination, thinking in images, dreaming and associating - all these aspects of creating poems was enough to find myself waking at 3am to capture my first poem called Colourless Entity.
Poetry does not matter to most people. It matters to me because it is both free and deeply structured. There is a certain kind of freedom that comes from writing a poem without ending punctuation, or playing with sentence fragments. There is also the joy that comes from operating within the constraints of poetry's unique structures from haiku to sonnets to ballads to cinquains to odes.
I never dreamed of being a writer. I can only say that since I have dabbled in poetry and personal essay writing, I am - to put it bluntly - addicted; and there is, thankfully, no cure but to write.
In 2013, I set myself the challenge of writing 30 poems in 30 days in the month of April as part of National Poetry Writing Month. Here is one below from that collection called Skin. All 30 can be read on my Shangwe2011 blog (link on the right).
Skin, a poem
Poetry What's the Point, an intimate talk between Benjamin Zephaniah and friends.
September 2014: Disappearing Act in 7 Shades of Love: a collection of poems written by women and men globally, Daniella Blechner.
June 2010: No Time in Sixty Poems for Haiti, Cane Arrow Press
In Poetry Today Anthologies:
December 2000: Energy in Dreams and Desires
October 2000: High Spirits in The Passage of Life
May 1997: Silent Moments in Life Lines
January 1997: Colourless Entity in Word of Mouth