with Syreeta Muir
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Syreeta: I have been writing little stories, poems and riddles since childhood, exclusively for myself, haha. I only started sharing them with other people a few years ago. I was influenced by what was around me and wrote, maybe like a lot of writers, as a means of puzzling the world. They are my “workings out”.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Syreeta: e. e. cummings, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Pinter, Beckett, Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, Emily Brontë, Jeanette Winterson, dot, dot, dot
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Did any travels away from home influence your work?
Syreeta: I moved around a fair bit. I was born in Germany, then we moved to a very small village in the South West U.K. aged around 2. Then Germany again aged 12. Then back to the little village aged 16. I left home at 16 and ran away to the Big City. Well, Manchester.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Syreeta: It’s all meaningful to me. Even the things I consider poor quality or that nobody ever sees. It’s all part of the document of myself, warts and all, in a riddled, metaphorical kind of way.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Syreeta: I think I always wanted that, but lacked the confidence to name it. During a discussion with a writers collective I am part of online, we talked about the fear of what to call yourself if you haven’t been published yet. Should you preface with “aspiring” or “emerging”? I decided to just call myself poet, because that’s what I feel is true.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Syreeta: Um. I’m fairly boring. I walk and take pictures of stuff. Weird, small, beautiful, sad stuff. Also, a lot of movies and tv. A lot. Currently I’m watching Sweet Tooth, Loki and rewatching Fleabag
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
Syreeta: Not currently. Fingers crossed, though, I’m waiting on several submissions. Can I use this space to shout-out a few other artists and writers instead? From Twitter: @LionessPoet
All of these strange, amazing creatures have things, right now, that more people really should be aware of.
Q8: What is a favorite line from a poem/writing of yours or others?
Syreeta: Everyday, I’d tidy my room,
pick up small, incendiary pieces of myself off the carpet,
contain anything flammable in a diary; none of these measures were enough to prevent the fires from happening.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Syreeta: My English teacher, Mr Entwistle, who at 15 helped me hone a poem and then read it out in front of the class as an example of how to write one. Simultaneously the proudest and most excruciating moment of my writing life to date.