Poetry Rivals 2016

Taking poetry from the page to the stage!

Guest Blog from Vanessa Kisuule, 2011 Winner

Date Posted: 27-08-2014 10:44:12

Vanessa Kisuule is our 2011 Poetry Rivals Slam Champion, winning £1,000 for her fantastic poem, and performance of 'Jjajja'. We've caught up with Vanessa to see what's she's been up to since her Poetry Rivals win...


How has Poetry Rivals helped your writing career?


It’s where I met Mark Grist who has been incredibly supportive of my work and asked me to support on him on four dates of his tour. It’s a great credit to put on my writing CV and has given me a great deal of confidence in my writing and performing ability.


How would you describe your poetry style?


I like to think that I am a storyteller first and foremost – this manifests in all sorts of ways. The political, the confessional and the lyrical all play a part, but they are all secondary to the stories I want to tell. I like to keep a focus on the observational and then all the other elements just fall into place.


Do you have a special place you write?


Not really – I scribble down ideas whenever they come into my head, and that could be absolutely anywhere.


Where do you draw your inspiration from?


The world and people around me – the conversations I have and overhear. Bristol. My friends and family.


What are your future literary ambitions?


I hope to one day write a novel or two – to be able to take my passion for narrative writing and apply it to anything – theatre, television, film, mixed media...


Who is your favourite poet(s)?


Warsan Shire, Bohdan Piasecki, Charles Bukowski, Lauren Zuniga, John Keats, Dizraeli, Rob Auton, Clementine Von Radics, Ken Arkind, Indigo Williams, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Rives, Toby Thompson, Hollie Mcnish, Alysia Harris, Joshua Bennett, T.S Eliot, Billy Collins, Maya Angelou ... and on and on and on!


To keep up to date with Vanessa's work, follow her on Twitter @Vanessa_Kisuule. Vanessa also has a poetry collection available, 'Joyriding the Storm'.


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