A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sue Finch @Soopoftheday

with Sue Finch:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Sue: I loved writing poetry at Primary School and have this wonderful memory of being selected to read a poem I had written at a Harvest Festival. My Mum and my Nan were in the audience and I loved the fact there was a lectern and I was reading. I can’t be one hundred percent sure, but I think we were just sort of given a subject and asked to write about it rather than study a poet or poem first! I did more reading of poetry than writing at secondary school, but loved the way I was taught to read poetry closely and the way my teachers seemed to know so much about it. When I went to Teacher Training College there was an opportunity to study Creative Writing alongside the Teaching degree and that’s when I realised how much I loved writing my own stuff.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Sue: I have five poets that I revisit regularly because I particularly admire their work: Caroline Bird, Vicki Feaver, Selima Hill, Andrew McMillan and Pascale Petit. I love the way they each craft their work and find it inspiring to go back into their books and remind myself what their writing does.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your work? Have any travels away from home influence your work/describe?

Sue: I grew up in a small coastal town in Kent, England. Walking by the sea was something I could do every day if I wished and I loved that feeling of being by water that was constantly moving and changing. Quiet times by the water seem to spirit me away, but connect me to myself and I feel peaceful and real. I am not really a traveller, but when I am travelling alone I view the time on the journey as thinking time and time alone in a hotel room as perfect reading and writing time so I tend to take one poetry book to read and write down a line or 2 during the trip to develop when I get back home. That’s how I wrote ‘Dropping Your Baby’ after seeing a toy doll face down in a muddy puddle on the roundabout.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Sue: My debut collection tracks my journey from childhood to adulthood and I felt I needed to do this as a way of setting down my life up to the present time, i.e., the time of its publication in 2020. This felt freeing to me in that it captured a view of a whole journey. It also proved cathartic in that I now view things through a different lens and it enabled me to go to some of the darker or more surreal places in my poetry.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer?

Sue: This question makes me think of the times at college when I would be sitting in our shared lounge and my flatmates would laugh at how long I could spend writing whilst listening to Leonard Cohen and checking my syllable count by tapping my nose with my fingers! I think I wanted to be a poet then, but it took me some years before I recognised just how important it was to me to write and set time aside for just that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Sue: I like to paint abstract acrylic works and sometimes I like to cook or bake. Reading always relaxes me and I love the feeling of being totally immersed in a book. When Jodi Picoult releases a new book I buy it as soon as I can and spread it out over 2 days because I want to read it all at speed, but I also love the anticipation of going back into it on day 2.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Sue: I am proud of my debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, published by Black Eyes Publishing UK which is avaiIable to order via bookshops or that large company that sends things out rapidly. I also record poems for my YouTube Channel – I started this because I wanted to read my poems out loud and then it became important to me during Lockdown as a way of sharing work regularly with those I couldn’t see in person. https://amzn.to/2VfMUFg


Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from your poetry or others?


Here are the first three lines from ‘Flamingo’: “The night she bent my elbows/to fit the candy floss cardigan/for the twenty-third time, my limbs turned to wings.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

I have been incredibly fortunate to have met some wonderful people whilst on my poetry journey: Georgi Gill and Audrey McIlvain via my MA with Manchester Metropolitan University; Anna Saunders, Josephine Lay, Ankh Spice, Catrice Greer and Damien Donnelly via Cheltenham Poetry Festival; Helen Ivory via ‘Ink, Sweat and Tears’. I love poetry workshops and have been much inspired by Kim Addonizio, Caroline Bird, Liz Berry, Pascale Petit and Jean Sprackland. I love the connections I have made on Twitter with poets and I tweet as @soopoftheday. And in my house my wonderful wife who will always come to ‘Poetry Corner’ when I want to read a poem to her. And my sister and my Mum who never seem to mind me ringing them to try out a poem or ask their opinions. I loved asking my brother if I could include a poem about him burning ants with a magnifying glass in my collection and the fact that his scientific knowledge led to my first ever published poem!




Bio: Sue Finch’s debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in 2020. She loves the coast and the scent of ice-cream freezers. You can follow Sue on Twitter: @soopoftheday.

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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