with Annick Yerem:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Annick: I can´t really remember when I started writing, what I do remember is that it was always encouraged, as was reading. My first influence were definitely my parents, who instilled in me the love for books, for words. Then Sarah Kirsch, Peter Härtling, Astrid Lindgren, Margaret Atwood, Samuel Beckett.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Annick: My biggest influence is anyone who writes, paints, draws, makes music, films, any kind of art and continues to do so. I am in awe of all of you.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Annick: I was born in Japan, then moved to Scotland and after that to Germany, where I have now lived most of my life. The influences came from those countries and from growing up with two languages. I feel most at home in Scotland and I feel most at home speaking and reading English.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Annick: Maybe on a subconscious level, but not to a great extent.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Annick: This reminds me of a quote by Thomas Bernhard:
I am not a writer, I am someone who writes. It felt like an identity for a long while, simply because I was writing and doing the work. Then for almost 20 years it was gone. And now it´s back again and I am nurturing it and taking it seriously. So that moment was actually just about 1,5 years ago.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Annick: Walks with my dog are a big part of my life and I love these walks, I often write in my head while walking. Reading and unashamedly binge-watching series such as Borgen, The Great British Bake Off, Grey`s Anatomy, Unforgotten, Catastrophe. Baking. Films. Dancing. Singing in the car.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Annick: I just had the most wonderful experience working with @theopencollab. Check out what they do, you can watch and listen on Youtube https://opencollab.co.uk/14/annick and support them on Ko-Fi.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
Annick: `that a piece of glass is as soft as the milky way`. It´s the opening line of my poem `Things I cannot tell my children`. The first poem I ever wrote in English and the poem I wrote after almost 20 years of not writing, so it means everything to me.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Annick: So many people have helped me along, I would love to give credit to them all, which is not possible here. First of all, Ankh Spice. Ankh was my mentor from the beginning and quickly became a dear friend. Sarah Stockton, Aoife Lyall, Christina Thatcher; Bev Schofield, Adrienne Hannah, Tara Skurtu, Pippa Marriott, Valerie Coffin Price, Wendy Pratt, Giovanna MacKenna, Sandra Birnie, Susan Jack, Britt Doughty-Godchaux, Damien Donnelly, James Diaz, Matthew C. Smith, Gaynor Kayne, Claire Marsden, Lisa Mary Armstrong, Mark Davidson, Lindsey Heatherly, Tanya Shadrick, Tara Fatehi Irani, Kate Dowling, Beth Brooke, Rhona Greene, Lynn Valentine, Stefanie Rixecker, Sarah Connor and many more who I am so grateful to.