There are two qualities that I so genuinely appreciate in another human being; a warrior spirit, survivors’ endurance and riddled with raw honest talent. Ok, make it three idiosyncratic characteristics. I just feel that writing is such a personal release – especially when writing about difficult subjects. I genuinely believe that specks of our soul detach from us — as we release immense pain or joy. The gift there is to be able to take that pain and manifest something that be appreciated – and the release of poetry. As it oozes from us as we desire to do nothing but express our most inner emotions into woven tales. Emotive work is truly housed within the Poetry of Elise Emersyn. The quality of Elise’s work is quite distinctive as she immerses herself inside of her own stylized being. When I read her work, I can authentically feel the myriad of emotions conveyed throughout, Drowning Back To Life.
I’d like to invite all of you to follow Elise on Instagram @eliseemersynpoetry and take a look at her site https://eliseemersynpoetry.com..
RMMW: We all have an inner critic; how do you contend with yours?
EE: Not well, I’m afraid! When I first completed my book, I thought it was fabulous…and then I got on Instagram! I’ve met and read absolutely amazing poets on this platform, but their incredible work, and the very loud opinions of others on what “good poetry” is and is not, often shakes my confidence. The algorithm is also a bitch—the fewer the likes, the more I think I’m just not good. But I know that’s skewed thinking and it’s just me needing affirmation, that most days very few people even get to see my work, and that I should not buy into the popularity contest-aspect of IG. So lately, instead of posting every day, two-three times per day and obsessively checking those likes, I post when I feel I have a good piece, check on it maybe once, and move on. Not worrying about those damn likes, and the lovely comments from fellow poets, definitely help to boost my self-esteem.
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?
EE: I have been in a brain block for the last several months, and it’s a direct result of stress. I thought that pushing this book meant coming up with new poetry to post every single day, and I did that for almost six months, in addition to curating for Pack Poetry, in addition to being a full time high school English teacher with 185 students a day. Around May, the words just stopped, and I’ve had a hard time getting them back, and to be honest, I think I’m just burned out. Prompts are very helpful, but for me, the only way to combat a nasty case of the blocks is to stop writing until it starts flowing again, and to try to reduce life stressors as much as possible.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
EE: None! My poetry just pops into my head whenever it wants to be written!
RMMW: Do you feel social media hinders or helps writers?
EE: Both. As I’ve said, it can be extremely intimidating and discouraging to see writers who you feel just blow you out of the water! But it’s also an awesome place to learn and to grow, to listen and to be heard, and to be exposed to styles and forms that one otherwise may never have the chance to explore.
RMMW: As a member of Pack Poetry, what is your favourite aspect of reading the work of other poets during live shows on Instagram?
EE: I’m not a live host, so I never know who’s going to be read until the day before, and I don’t know the pieces being read until they’re read. It’s very exciting to hear new works as they’re being read and to experience the feelings they evoke, and finding new poets to follow. I also love chatting with the viewers who pop in and getting to know them!
RMMW: Who are your favourite indie writers?
EE: Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye (are they still Indie?)
RMMW: What content are you in search of with regards to the poetry you curate and read live?
EE: Good rhythm and flow, content that has meaning, intelligent wording, and because I’m an English teacher and I just can’t help it, correct spelling and punctuation. (I’m sorry; that’s just me! I’m programmed—it’s kind of terrible!)
RMMW: What do you feel are some of the greatest challenges, that writers have to face literally everyday?
EE: Finding something new to say, and new ways to say it; being taken seriously as a writer and not becoming a little minnow in the sea of other authors; finding an audience and getting good exposure.
RMMW: At what age did you start writing poetry?
EE: I started late, around 20, and I wrote prolifically until I met my ex, and then it stopped for the whole of our relationship and then some: 13 years. (It was an abusive relationship and I lost a lot of what was me.) I just started writing again in the spring of 2018, and I wrote my entire book (253 poems) from late May to August 2018.
RMMW: People have constantly said to me throughout my life that any subject can not be made into a poem. I disagree, I think any subject can make a brilliant poem — what do you think?
EE: I absolutely agree! I think that with creative thought, perspective, and wording, anything can be made into an incredible piece of work. We are artists, and I think we can find beauty and purpose in things that most would completely overlook. That’s our gift.
RMMW: Do you have any unfinished manuscripts that are going to make their way to publication fruition?
EE: I would like to publish another book of poetry, and I do have enough written, but I haven’t even attempted to put it together! I don’t have a purpose in my mind yet—I’ll keep writing until I know where I want it to go!
RMMW: Where is your favourite place to write?
EE: I don’t have a particular place, because they just come to me and kind of demand to be written, but I do like to write outside, preferably near woods or water!
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
EE: Can I pick two? I’m going to! First, I’d love to be a healer. But I’d also love to be a unstoppable badass like Jean Grey and control the whole world with my mind.