2009 is shaping up to be a busy year for Nicola Scholes. She is one of the feature poets at the final Riverbend Books: Poetry on the Deck event on Tuesday June 23 and just a few short days after that on Sunday July 5, she will launch her debut poetry collection, Dear Rose.
I caught up with Nicola recently for a quick chat …
What intially drew you to poetry?
I’m not quite sure. I’ve been writing poems since I was a child, but I also loved to draw, sing, and write songs and stories, so writing poetry was just one outlet for a young creative spirit! I had a best friend who was also creative, and we wrote poems together, and swapped poems. It was fun, and part of my growing up. Just before my 11th birthday, my family emigrated from England to Australia, and after that, I wrote a lot more. I think that this was my way of trying to make sense of the move.
When is a poem ready to be published/performed?
It is ready to be performed as soon as it is written. It is ready to be published after quite a few edits. I have worked on some poems for many years. Sometimes the original is better than successive edits, if I didn’t know what I was doing with it. So I go back to the original when time has passed, and try again.
Has publication changed the way you approach your writing?
Yes, it has made me feel much more confident about my writing. Sometimes I am surprised at which pieces are accepted, and which ones are not. That teaches me not to be so hard on myself, but to write what I want, and then think about publication after it has been written, and not beforehand.
Why perform/read your poetry?
I love reading a poem that is fresh and that I have just written. It now feels like a part of the process of creation — to write and then to read to an audience. I think that you can learn quite a lot from your own poem by reading it aloud to others. Even words that you had intended to use in a certain way, can suddenly take on new meanings as they cross over into space and other peoples’ ears. In this way, the audience helps to shape the poem.
What is the greatest challenge faced by poets/poetry today?
I think that the challenge is always to keep going, to keep creating, in spite of general public indifference to poetry, and most forms of artistic expression, especially ones that do not appear to contribute to the economy.
Small Change Press is excited to launch it’s first title for 2009, Dear Rose by the winner of the inaugural ‘Dream Aint Broken Chapbook Competition,’ Nicola Scholes. The poems in her debut collection are brimming with inventiveness and moments of illumination.
In 2007, Nicola also won the inaugural Love Poetry Hate Racism open mic competition. Aside from winning inaugural things, Nicola has had her poems published in magazines such as The Broadkill Review (USA), Cordite Poetry Review, The Courier-Mail, dotlit, Hecate, holland1945, Nineteen-O-Splash (NZ), SpeedPoets, and Stylus Poetry Journal. Nicola has also been involved in Brisbane community theatre for more than ten years. She has performed in plays with Villanova Players, and St. Luke’s Theatre Society. She is currently studying a PhD on representations of the maternal in Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, at the University of Queensland.
As part of this live launch experience, Nicola will be reading from Dear Rose, alongside Melbourne’s intensely musical, Santo Cazzati and the sonic beauty of Bremen Town Musician.
Date: Sunday July 5
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Venue: Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, 109 Edward St, Brisbane
Tickets: $15.00 single or $20 couple (including a signed copy of the book, glass of wine & nibbles).
Book your spot now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (tickets to be paid for on the night)