Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Interviewing Laura Daligan

This week's brief questionnaire is from new age artist Laura Daligan, who (among much other great work) painted the cover of my third book of poetry, Spectral Emphatic.

Check out Laura's other marvellous creations - paintings, prints jewellery and more - on

How long have you been an Artist?
Since I was old enough to pick up some coloured pencils. I was always drawing animals and magical creatures as a child, so not much has changed there! Though I hope my technique has improved! :)

Where is your favourite place to create?

My little desk studio space, or when possible out in nature on location - beaches and stone circles.

What piece of art are you most proud of?

Hmm I don't know! Each piece is something special to me. But I'm proud of commissions I do for others as it's lovely to see my art making others happy.

Where do you get your ideas from?

The Otherworld. Nature. The Muse who sometimes comes to visit.

What makes you different from all other artists?

Being me :) I love what all my artist friends do, we all inspire each other. I have my own way of telling my story and I hope that shows.

What is your favourite piece of art by someone else?

Too many to choose! I'll take one from Edvard Munch, one from J W Waterhouse, and one from Brian Froud. ♥

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Interviewing the artists and writers I know, No. 1: Sarah Hymas

This is a new part of the blog - every now and then I'll post up a proforma questionnaire with answers from one of the may super talented friends and contacts I am lucky enought to know. Today, the inaugural post, is from poet Sarah Hymas. I reviewed her wonderful book of poetry Host a while back, and she reviewed Taropoetics.

Sarah Hymas

Name: Sarah Hymas

Website / blog:

Tell me about your life as a poet

It's quiet. I live in the middle of nowhere. I have a desk that is beneath a window overlooking Morecambe Bay, in Lancashire England, which I look out of a lot. I sometimes write, but more often these days I cross things out. I had a book published, Host (Waterloo Press), just over two years ago (featured here by Anna back then!) and am coming close to having my second manuscript ready. It's about the sea and called We Buried the Whale at Night.

One of the poems from it I recently made into a wee pamphlet/art booklet (see illustration). Lune is the name of the estuary at whose mouth I live. It's a long poem shifting around the coastline, saltmarsh, history and its people.

I'm also working on a performance project based on some of the poems in this collection, called Sealegs, with musician Steve Lewis, which is great fun and also a playful way of working on some hard core editing.

I also write a blog, which is a kind of public creative journal in which I test run ideas around poems, or explore my thinking around art and books, or write about the Bay and living next to it.
How long have you been a writer?
wellllll, if we include those hideously embarrasing (yet earnest) first attempts, for 30 odd years. But I think I came of age far more recently
Where is your favourite place to write?
my desk - for the reasons given above

What piece of writing are you most proud of?

Initially it's always the thing I've just finished. Then that usually wears off :)
But perhaps Lune because it took a while (and perseverance) to say what I wanted to say and although it's not as I imagined, I like how it works together

Where do you get your ideas from?
What I see, hear and experience, mixed with imagination, a wider history and personal regret or longing.

What makes you different from all other writers?

I don't know of another poet whose obsession with the sea is coupled with the knowledge of sailing it. If there is one I'd love to be introduced!
What is your favourite creative work by someone else?
Any improvised piece by Keith Jarrett uplifts me; I'm gutted to have missed tickets for his forthcoming London gig. Kandinsky's abstract paintings are SO energetic! Suzanne Batty's The Barking Thing (Bloodaxe) is the most exrtraordinary poetry collection I've read for a long time. The Lives of Others has one of the most perfect endings to a film I've seen...