This month we will be featuring Poet Mermaid Kelda of Brisbane, Australia!
This interview was kept fairly short, but we hope you still enjoy it!
SSML: So tell me how you first started writing?
Kelda: I've always been a big reader - my mum taught me to read from a very young age and I was lucky enough to pick it up really quickly (I learned to read on The Hobbit!), and my dad was a fantastic story teller, so I was always interested in words and the different ways you can put them together to create meaning and aesthetics without the need for pictorial cues. I wrote my first story soon after learning the alphabet ("Once upon a time there were three flowers who were friends, and good friends." - to a five year old, that's a perfectly complete story) and I've been jotting things down when I have the chance ever since.
S: I'm assuming that you credit your parents then for your literacy and for inspiring you to write. That was a really cute story as well! What kind of things have you jotted down?
K: Yes, absolutely, though my primary school definitely encouraged us to write; a trio of dolphins defeating a grumpy shark, adventures in Egypt and the Amazon, and a jungle princess cursed to live as a tiger are the ones that come to mind. I've still got them, somewhere. I spent a good portion of my middle school years writing down the adventures my childhood best friend and I had had as a pair of heroic witches, and if I ever write a children's novel that's what I'll base it on. But over the last few years I've realised I'm pretty good at poetry, so that's what I focus on these days.
S: What are your poems about? Are there underlying themes in them?
K: It depends a bit on the form of poetry; sometimes it's abstract and unstructured, so there tends to be less of a "theme" than a "mood". If I'm writing a traditional rhyming poem (like my poem featured here), it's usually a story, often fantastical because that's what I enjoy writing about. I love writing half-rhymes most of all - there's something so raw and pleasingly imperfect about them - and they're a lot easier to write than traditional rhymes, so the themes vary just depending on what mood I'm in at the time. But because of my love of story telling, I'll often include elements of fantasy or folklore into all my poetry.
S: What was your favourite piece you work on? What poem are you currently working on?
K: My favourite piece I've written is a half-rhyme called The Space Where I Would Be, and you can read it here on my Tumblr. I like a good rhythm to my poetry, so most of the stuff I write works well read aloud as well as on the page. Currently I'm working on a children's poem about a girl's adventures though a dreamscape, filled with lessons about her perception of actions, intent, and character, and her own self-worth. Those are pretty in-depth themes to work into a story, never mind a poem, and then getting it to rhyme and flow well is another matter entirely, so it's slow going!
Thank you so much Kelda for taking the time to do this interview!
If you haven't already, check out her poem The Space Where I Would Be .