A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sarah-Jane

gif from Sarah-Jane

Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently? 

Sarah-Jane: I’ve written illustrated stories and poetry as far back as I can remember. The first was about a family of rabbits – I was about four. It had no words but all the rabbits had different patterns on their trousers. My biggest influence is probably old-school poetry forums. I’m a bit wary of mentioning these as their workshopping can be very brutal, and hit-and-miss (you need a thick skin to survive and I wouldn’t recommend them for everyone) but places like Poetry Free For All were free and accessible resources for me when I was otherwise isolated, very short of money, and raising two small children. 

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer? 

Sarah-Jane: Yes! When a colleague at work talked about my ‘lack of creative practice’ as a put-down. I thought inwardly ‘I have got a creative practice’ and I started to look where I might submit work for possible publication.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career? 

Sarah-Jane: Besides the myriad people on old-school poetry forums and lovely poets and artists on twitter, I have a group of close poet-friends whose work I admire. We meet to discuss poetry and life weekly, and their help is invaluable. Also, there were a few kind editors back when I was just sending off work that took time out to give me a couple of lines of valuable advice, sometimes about the poems, sometimes about my bio. Small things, but they helped. And being part of a super-lovely, super-talented poet/artist twitter community.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work? 

Sarah-Jane: I grew up in a tiny, tiny village in the middle of nowhere with my Mum (who didn’t drive). My Dad was frequently away travelling. It was only when I went away to college that I realised not all shopping trips took place monthly, and things like all-night-garages existed. I thought all-night garages were magical. I’d stay up until midnight to buy a Kit-Kat just because I could. I think growing up surrounded by so much nature programmed me to look at colours, scents and sounds in a close way. I developed a very vivid imagination. Also it was quite boring so I read an awful lot!

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you? 

Sarah-Jane; Probably my first ever ‘series’ of visual poems that ‘worked’ cohesively as an idea – erasure poems based on a late (19 scientific diary/set of observations which created imaginary constellations. Making them taught me how to move between analogue and digital techniques, and to work in a sequence.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax? 

Sarah-Jane: Drawing and reading. I don’t do a great deal of conscious relaxation. I work and work and work and work, then I sleep.

Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing? 

Sarah-Jane: ‘Bad cleverness in the artist’. It’s ‘found’ text from an early (20 technical guide to calligraphy. 

Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration? 

Sarah-Jane: I play artists I like on repeat. It changes according to what I’m working on, but at the moment it’s usually Loma.

Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you would like to promote? 

Sarah-Jane: I’ll be collaborating again with the fabulous Renee at Rare Swan press soon. And I’ll be bringing out a short-print run artist book with The Ethelzine in 2023. I work at Hereford College of Arts and I’ve some tiny accordion books and lots of images and video/audio on show at our staff showcase now (the private view is today) so if you live near Hereford please drop in!

Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey? 

Sarah-Jane: Collage brings with it a definition of strange. I once spent a morning sticking teeny-tiny lightbulbs onto a variety of teeny tiny insect derrières.

Please include any links, bio, a photo to be posted on the website.

Twitter: @Sarahjfc

Insta: Sarah_jfc

Website: sarah-janecrowson.com

Bio: Sarah-Jane’s work is inspired by fairytales, nature, psychogeography and surrealism. She uses bricolage to explore the space between real and imagined; creating alternative narratives as small acts of resistance. Sarah-Jane’s work can be seen in various journals, including Waxwing Literary Journal, Rattle, Petrichor, Sugar House Review and Iron Horse Literary Review. You can find her on Twitter @Sarahjfc or on her website at www.sarahjanecrowson.art

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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