with Charlotte Oliver:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Charlotte: I started writing poetry as a little girl, inspired by my mum and my grandma reading delicious rhyming poems aloud to me, like The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes – that one used to thrill and terrify me, and I loved it! I carried on until after university but stopped as life got busier and I’ve only returned to it in earnest this past year.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Charlotte: Most recently, Roger Robinson, Wendy Pratt, Tony Curry, John McCulloch, Clare Shaw, Robert Frede Kenter, Anna Saunders and Elisabeth Kelly. They’ve all written incredible words that never seem far from my thoughts at the moment.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Charlotte: I’ve lived in Liverpool, London, Suffolk and Brazil but Scarborough has always been my true home and I adore it; the sea, the tourists, the ghosts of its grand past, the empty beach in Winter – it is endlessly inspiring!
Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Charlotte: Always the poems I have written for my husband.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Charlotte: I’ve always been creative but the crunch came a few years ago when I was sitting at my desk job in the NHS. I knew I was losing myself and my excitement at the world (and everything I could see was beige!). I heard myself resign and here I am, poorer but fulfilled.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Charlotte: Being outdoors, preferably by or in the sea.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Charlotte: I’m very exited to have had a poem accepted for Ice Floe Press’s Pandemic Love and Other Affinities anthology which will be out later in the summer. I’ve also got a few other things out there that I am hoping for news of very soon…
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
Charlotte: My poem Bee, starts ‘Flying crumb of tiger’. I’m proud of that.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Charlotte: Wendy Pratt’s (@wondykitten) courses and mentoring has been invaluable to me, as has the Word Central gang’s warmth and welcome each month at their Zoom poetry evenings. Every act of connection with the lovely poetry community has helped me move forwards and, of course, my ever-patient and wonderful husband.
(Twitter: @charlotteolivr insta: charlotteoliverpoet)