with Samuel A. Adeyemi
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Samuel: 2017 was when I started writing poetry. At least, intentionally. My first influences were notably William Wordsworth and a number of classical poets we were introduced to in secondary school. But as I progressed to a more contemporary style, initially, Rudy Fransisco, Sabrina Benaim, Donte Collins, and some other Button Poetry poets heavily influenced me.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Samuel: That would definitely be Kaveh Akbar. The intense admiration I have for him and his work influences my style, sometimes subconsciously.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Samuel: I grew up and still live in Abuja, Nigeria. Childhood was mostly an indoor and introverted experience. To be honest, it still is. So the world outside seldom influences my poems. But again, that is a kind of influence. The regulated, confined way of life is the reason my poems are mostly about the self and confessional. It makes sense, I think. If the poet cannot look outward, he would have no choice but to dive inward.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?
Samuel: I recently finished writing and compiling poems for my chapbook manuscript. It’s quite meaningful to me because the collection, woven around a theme, practically mirrors my personal experiences.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Samuel: I don’t think I remember any moment where I said, “you know what? I wanna do this poetry thing all my life.” Heck, I never said to myself “I want to become a poet.” The art found me and I allowed it to stay. It’s like you’re walking on the road and your toes catch a marble, then you decide to keep it.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Samuel: I listen to a lot of music. To those around me, my playlist is a chaotic synthesis. Can’t fault that. Think a Bring Me the Horizon song after a Kendrick Lamar one. Then Lana Del Rey. I also watch movies or anime in my free time. Football, too.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Samuel: My recent publication is this poem in Blue Marble Review: https://bluemarblereview.com/minnows/
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
“But I do not know what to
weave from faith. Prayer reminds me
what absence tethers me from,
when I fold myself to kneel as a saint,
a lily wilts before my teeth. As if to say,
crawl to your mother’s feet and confess your
(From “Applying Psalms 121 to a Gentile” in Leavings Lit Mag).
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
I’ve never had direct mentorship from anyone, so reading my favourite writers has helped me grow.