Author Interview – Isabelle Kenyon – “This is not a Spectacle” (Contemporary Poetry)

Good evening to you all, friends.

It’s Author Interview time again, my favourite time of the week (unless there is a cake, in which case every time of the week is my favourite!)

Just a quick note before we get started properly. I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉

Tonight, I would like to introduce you all to a very talented contemporary poet who has blown me away with her words and just released a new Extended Version of her latest poetry book too.

Please give a warm welcome to Isabelle Kenyon, as we dive deeper into her writing and how she crafts her exhilarating poems.

Thanks for reading, stay frosty and have a good evening folks 🙂

 

Hi there Isabelle, thank you for joining us to talk about your inspirations, writing style and your poetry book releases.

Firstly, let’s start with your latest poetry release, the Extended Edition which is now available on Amazon. Why is your book called “This is not a Spectacle”, what is the relevance to the poems and collection itself?

I am interested by human curiosity towards strangers – whether that it more general interest taken in another on the street, being drawn in by attraction or intrigue of another’s difference to themselves, to where curiosity becomes fascination with another’s grief or misfortune from afar. The poems range from my experiences of a car accident, (my desperation a spectacle for onlookers, who gave me a wide berth), my own fascination of others (my extended edition particularly interrogates my own thought processes towards strangers) and strangers’ impressions of me. I think it is an expression of anger from those who least want to be stared at and be put on display.

This is not a Spectacle Extended Edition

What are the themes that unite “This is not a Spectacle” together and how did you approach preparing them for a collection? Did you have to remove any poems that did not fit into the core themes that you were exploring for this book?

My approach for the collection centered around selecting only my most personal poetry which revolved around observation of people. I had to disregard any love poetry – although there are clear themes of caring throughout the anthology and any of my nature or more generally emotive work. It had to be driven by something – topics explored in This is not a Spectacle, include homelessness, the poverty in Mumbai, dementia, and in the extended edition particularly, human suspicion (which I feel is becoming more prevalent, the threat of terror becoming overwhelming to some).

You also have a micro chapbook called “The Trees Whispered” which has been published online by Origami Poetry Press. It can be accessed here for free at The Trees Whispered by Isabelle Kenyon. Can you tell us more about the concept of this chapbook and the nature of the work showcased by artists over at Origami Poetry Press.

Yes I think Origami Poetry Press is such a great concept! I hope the company goes from strength to strength. It’s a not for profit organisation, and they work with an artist to create a personalised cover for each chapbook. It includes 6 poems exploring the nature and roots in a wider sense of the word – completely different to This is not a Spectacle, but something I’m really proud of so do take a look and print off your own origami version, I’d love to see copies in hands!

How does a poem begin for you? Does it start with an image, a form or a particular theme?

I think it starts with an inability to focus on anything else – a feeling consumes me and in the process of redrafting, I come to terms with the situation and I know exactly how I feel, but in a more ordered and considered way! In that way it’s like writing a diary that I edit for the public.

Not A Spectacle Section One

Section One of “This is not a Spectacle” Extended Edition by Isabelle Kenyon

Are there any forms you haven’t tried yet but would like to?

I’ve only written one spoken word poem so far – and as a performer myself, I would love to find a spoken word community and do my first open mic night! I feel that is such a vibrant side of the poetry community that I want to be a part of.

How important is accessibility of the meaning of your poems? Should we have to work hard to “solve” the poems and discover their deeper meanings?

I think the meaning of my poems is in their imagery – I’m not been a massive fan of writing ‘cryptically’ because I want my readers to have some sense of the emotion behind my writing. I personally don’t enjoy it when I have to read a poem 4 times over and still can’t gauge the meaning – however I do enjoy it when I read a poem 4 times and find NEW meanings in it! It’s about finding that balance.

What are you main sources of inspiration or research when it comes to crafting your poetry?

Sometimes I will be inspired to write by a piece of theatre that I go to see (inspired by its themes, which sometimes leads me into research) or by a piece of art which I feel has a story behind it.

Not A Spectacle Section Two

Section Two of “This is not a Spectacle” Extended Edition by Isabelle Kenyon

Has your own opinion or idea of what poetry is changed since you first started writing poetry?

Yes – I think I’m even more picky about what I like! I’m skeptical about ‘popular’ trends in writing – I’m not convinced mainstream poetry offering sweeping quotes about life and love is meaningful as it seems hollow to me, devoid of a personal touch (although clearly effective on social media!) I just think that is a world away from the work of Sylvia Plath, for example, who I love, whose form and style has been developed into an art.

What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?

I have never thought about a mascot or spirit animal haha! My late Jack Russell, Misty, used to sit on my lap while I wrote, so she can be my spirit animal.

My style of writing is difficult to define – there is a definite sense of form to it and I mostly write in metaphors.

What were the hardest parts of “This is not a Spectacle” to write? And what were the easiest?

The hardest parts were interrogating my own thoughts – knowing that people would read my judgement of strangers but knowing it was important to include them. The easiest parts were describing what I saw in the streets, in my interactions with others – these felt more removed and easier to put pen to paper.

Not A Spectacle Section Three

Section Three of “This is not a Spectacle” Extended Edition by Isabelle Kenyon

Who are some of your favourite authors, historical figures, poets and poems?

My favourite author is probably Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because of her characters are so perfectly imagined they come alive for me. I also adore the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, both so different and yet so talented.

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

I do have uninspired moments, so I find I have to focus on the people around me more – then I realise I have a lot of things to say! I also like to go on a walk, there’s something about taking pictures of nature or arranging my thoughts which helps me to write.

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

So, I’ve just started a job as a Marketing Assistant in a theatre – I’m passionate about theatre and writing so in my spare time, I see shows and that inspires me to put on my own shows in future. I also am a manic dancer – I love salsa, swing, ballroom and latin.

Not A Spectacle Section Four

Section Four of “This is not a Spectacle” Extended Edition by Isabelle Kenyon

Regarding your subsequent projects, will you be writing another poetry book or do you have other projects in the pipeline?

Yes, so aside from the extended edition of This is not a Spectacle, I will be releasing details of a poetry collaboration project soon! I want to write a poetry anthology inspired by stories of mental health and well being, the profits of which will go to mental health charities. I will be doing a call out for submissions on my blog flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk and I plan for the book to be released in late January 2018.

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring poets?

I’m not very wise. I’m very manic. So if you want readers, be a manic person too – apply for everything, write constantly and enjoy it!

And that’s a wrap! 🙂 Thank you for spending time with us to give us more of an insight into your poetry and the lady behind it, we appreciate it and can’t wait to check out more of your work 🙂

Bio:-

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Isabelle Kenyon is a Greater Manchester based poet and a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York.

She is inspired by the people and events around her – she observes and writes what she sees and what she feels.

She is the author of poetry anthology, This is not a Spectacle and micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered, published by Origami Poetry Press.

Her poems have been published in many poetry anthologies and included in literary festivals, such as the Inkyneedles anthology, the Great British Write Off, the Wirral festival of Music, Speech and Drama, Poetry Rivals, and the Festival of Firsts.

Isabelle has been awarded third place in the Langwith Scott Award for Art and Drama and runner up in the Visit Newark Poetry Competition.

You can connect with Isabelle via the following Social Media channels:-

Blog/Website:- FLY ON THE WALL POETRY – ISABELLE KENYON
Facebook:- Fly on the Wall Poetry (FB)
Goodreads:- Isabelle Kenyon (Goodreads)
Instagram:- @bellek15 (Instagram)
Twitter:- @kenyon_isabelle (Twitter)

You can buy her book here, which is the Extended Edition that has just been released on 17th November:-

Buy “This is not a Spectacle: Extended Edition” in the UK/Europe

Buy “This is not a Spectacle: Extended Edition” in the US/Rest of the World

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Still want more? Well, Isabelle is an exceptional poet and her words really resonate when dealing with her different subject matters, particularly when she is observing the nature of human conditions and are attitudes towards others. For more articles on the theme of ‘Exceptional’ then check out the links below:-

1. Extraordinary Soul – Run and Travel
2. The Daily Post Writing Prompt Challenge! – Allison’s Written Words
3. Kimberlee K. – 31 Good Things That Happened in October
4. Awkward… – A “Teacups and Roses” World.
5. The Land of Rock and Cactus, Part I: Looking Up – The Page Turns
6. The Sweet Side of Vegas – wholeheartyhappy
7. Exploring the World around us – Exceptional
8. Foolproof ideas to make money online – LIFESTYLE DESIGN
9. Back home again yesterday – The AAAmazing Phoenix
10. A Diary of A Single Man: Love & The Foolish – Harlem Cafe
11. G.ma and the Giant Pumpkin Memory – Branching Out
12. Someone Before Me – Melinda J. Irvine
13. Another Day: Fiction – neilhayeswriter
14. Ambrose VII – Writer’s block
15. Hidden Creek Farm – Muskegon – Michigan – sporadic traveler
16. logicaldreams – Short Story: Talentless Determination
17. Flowing Like Milk and Honey – For the Audio Impotents
18. JasonFLBlog – the hurdy gurdy, an exceptional folk music instrument
19. Not good enough – Anna Jailene Aguilar
20. Exceptional, a daily word prompt from a few days ago – Therapy Bits
21. Warmed Twice – The Chicken Grandma
22. For Much Deliberation – Exceptional…
23. GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast – Fun on Friday the 13th
24. When Nothing is Left – Candace A. Jones Ministries
25. A Perfectionistic Mindset – E. Denise Billups, Writer
26. Dustings of gold trickling from the sky – Sarahs Crazy Mind
27. witchlike – Fun on Friday the 13th
28. Game Face – Wind Kisses
29. That’s Some Cat! – The Inkwell
30. A class apart – The Chaos Within
31. Detox water is the juice cleanse of 2017 – LIFESTYLE DESIGN
32. yi-ching lin photography – candied
33. “Exceptional Mistake.” – Expedition Overlanding Nomadic Adventures
34. Look Inside – Debbie Gravett
35. The Land – Key to Mongolia
36. Exceptional… He died – Dream Desire Achieve
37. Exceptionally Beautiful – Revolving Around Life
38. It’s Exceptional, you’ll love it! – Scotch&Dutchy
39. beauty + dreams + exceptional – tuckedintoacorner
40. Kentucky Head Hunter Serial Killer Part 2
41. One Life.Many Journeys. – Exceptional
42. Daily Prompt : Exceptional – Tower of Pathos
43. Scale Your Growth – travel387
44. A New Version of Normal – memoriter
45. Orchid – Leigha Robbins
46. The Constant Struggle – A Beautiful Mess
47. Fluffy Pool – The Emergence of Language
48. Blog Milestones: 100 followers! – justaplatypus
49. Wavering – I am a paradox.
50. The Ramblings of E.M. Kingston – Autumn Finally!
51. Battery – On a mission
52. copypower – The Exceptional Experience of Travelling
53. October Poem 23: The Curse of Old Raw Head – therichardbraxton
54. You are my happy… – Mum’s the Word Blog
55. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Be Exceptional
56. Exceptional Choices – Lakeshore Ponderings
57. Can we Choose? – writingrealities
58. Let me tell you about my best friend… – Crying Confessions
59. All Hallows Write – writemebad
60. bethlovesblue – To Trekkie or Not to Trekkie
61. Harry Potter creature standing by tree – Your Nibbled News – 2017 YNN
62. Bajezen – You are Exceptional
63. Affairs of the Heart – Notes to Women
64. A visit to Taliban. – manumausam
65. AK Clark – Exceptional
66. Inktober Day 10 – Hook—Line—Sinker
67. Donald Doesn’t Like Bad Press – A lot from Lydia
68. Steps Times Two – Perfect Partners
69. All Hallows Write – The Mind of Nox
70. Dove’s Cry – KhaoticEuphoria
71. You are entering my Mind – Dhyan turned 3 !!!
72. Cloud 9 – Beach Clouds at New Brighton
73. Life On The Skinny Branches – Whiskey & Bitters
74. juantetcts – Daily Post
75. The Hidden Chalkboard (The HC) – Telling Jesus to “Get a Job!”
76. An Exceptionally Ingenious Poem – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
77. Have an Exceptional Day! – novus creaturae
78. WHEN WE WERE YOUNG – Between the World and Me
79. Giggles & Tales – Save The Girl Child…
80. Single Guy Says – Single Guy Says, ‘Oh Hidy Ho Officer!’
81. A Day In The Life – Exceptional
82. Striving for Excellence – chicken scratch
83. Unique Stories: Travel, Dogs, People – Neuschwanstein
84. ~284 Of 365~ – ……….365 Days………..
85. Who am I? – Written Frames
86. Exceptional at Being Me – Smile at Life
87. Writer Sanctuary – How to Be an Exceptional Freelance Ghostwriter
88. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – Once Ceptional, Twice Ex-Ceptional
89. Ms Jackson – BONSALLES ART
90. NanoWriMo’s 2017 Prep Month – Wandering Worlds
91. Life, with Clotted Cream – Mexican Fiesta
92. Exceptionally Unexceptional – Tea, Wine, and Cheese, Please!
93. Own it. – A “Teacups and Roses” World.
94. Exceptional – The Bag Lady
95. Living Authentically – Celebrating Your Exceptional Self
96. Beholding Beauty – Recycled Affirmations
97. Heaven’s Sunshine – Morning of Mystery
98. Laidig’s Broadway – Moth Country
99. Accepting “I’m Not” – Author Flawed to Perfection
100. Wordsearch Wednesday: Search #2 – MindEscapes
101. Freebie for Teachers: “Shame” by Dick Gregory – Crystaleyes20
102. You Are Super Cool, And So Am I – Openionated Confabulator
103. Warning! Blue Language! I Read the News Today, Oh Boy 😦 – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
104. thoughts and entanglements – Quiet Surrender
105. Jaspa’s Journal – The Spruce Goose: The Biggest Airplane Ever Built
106. y – in the middle of
107. yi-ching lin photography – walk
108. The Wonder of Yarrow House – An Exceptional Gift
109. Words Got Wings – Leader
110. Exceptional – wordsareallihavesite
111. Musings of a Random Mind – We Can Be Taught
112. Weeping Pine 2 – Wicked Cool Nature
113. Curious Hart – Exposing the Exceptional
114. Self-Exceptional – fibijeeves
115. You Don’t Decide the Definition, a poem – Sumyanna Writes
116. Exceptional Request – Love it Now
117. Is It Possible to be a “Foodie” and Still be Healthy? – Adventures of a Busy Mom
118. Daily haiku / senryu : Exceptional – Cactus Haiku
119. Dancing around the flames of opportunity with a subtle splash of sportsmanship. – Individual expressions of a naive mind.
120. day 400 – observing world mental health day – the soberista.
121. Crossing Colorado – Joys of Having Remarkable Fitness, and What it Means
122. Serendipity, Encouraged – Streetview Story – Randolph Vermont
123. The Exceptional Human – Islamic Methodologies Made Easy
124. Walk with God – One in a Hundred
125. Taco Tuesdays – elev8it
126. MC’s Whispers – In search of treasures
127. Flowers and Breezes – Exceptional
128. She – A Ray of Sunshine
129. Determination=Exceptional Results – An Update – Vanita Maraj Lifestyle
130. Hollywood Rhymes – I’m not ET just BPD
131. Exceptional visit to a Garden….. – My Opinion
132. The Consulting Writer – Dog Whistle? Yeah, I Can Hear That
133. Narutomath96 – A faithful surface
134. Inktober 2017 – Day Eleven Entry – Emptiness of Silence – Sketches By Nitesh
135. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – each leaf
136. Exceptional Service From An Exceptional Person. – Angelin Veronica
137. 5 Great Ideas To Spark Your Creativity – Jupiter Vibez
138. A Life Retired Blog – exceptional pets
139. Exceptional – Wellness is your birthright – Welcome to the World of Wellness
140. my own little corner … by jenni – Give Elizabeth a break
141. Charmed Chaos – The Mighty Three
142. Write Here: Write Now – Exceptional Weather
143. Attrition’s Rat Race: Fact or Fiction? – Success Strategies
144. We are all similar to each other and uniquely exceptional at the same time – Travelling Psychologist
145. Exceptional News – And Then She Took Pictures
146. Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Leaders – ATBA
147. Exceptional Maxine – Covert Novelist
148. Bitter Sweet Love Story – Litha’s Blog
149. Flash Fiction: Exceptional
150. Success Inspirers World – Exceptional
151. by emily – Bad Dream As I Awoke
152. Na’ama Yehuda – Your Kind Of Exceptional
153. Innocent eyes – Curiouser and curiouser
154. Every single lash .. .. – Looking back in sadness
155. Posters – Scribbled to Paper
156. DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society – Exceptional Enforcement of Supermarket Rule
157. Miss Pelican’s Perch – Why I Am Not Exceptional
158. Transcend – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
159. New Job – This, That, and The Other
160. Until I Keep Going – December Rose
161. Piper’s Adventures – Nature’s Exceptional Life
162. Telling the Truth – tiny drops of dew
163. Exceptional – The Long and Short Stories of Life
164. An Exceptional Life – bohogypsywoman
165. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The Exceptional Feline
166. Exceptional – Image & Word
167. Called Out and Covered – Stew Rd.
168. Goals: Be Anxious For Nothing… – Success Strategies
169. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Hyperbolic Resume
170. The Capricious Heart – surrealspectre
171. We are living in exceptional times. ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
172. Giggles & Tales – Dear Girl Child…!
173. Exception – Bits and Pieces
174. Cocaine Blues Effect – stoneronarollercoaster
175. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Something completely different
176. Kimberlee K. – 30 Good Things That Happened in September
177. Travel: When Natives Navigate… – Nomadchasingwaterfalls
178. anything but – vertical combustion
179. Light & life – Just Watch and Smile
180. Exceptional recipes for the discerning palate – Bird Flight
181. Raising Our Normal – Exceptional Beings
182. SERENDIPITY – AN EXCEPTIONAL DAY AS BONNIE HEADS TO THE GROOMER
183. Dronstad – Man without a name
184. Thoughts on Life – Exceptional
185. Exceptional – Megha’s World
186. The Chocolatey Heart – The Pescetarian Poet
187. The Ruin of a Formidable Kingdom – Journeys of Len
188. Redefining Pain, Life, Stress. – Zeckrombryan
189. Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy – whippetwisdom.com
190. Excellence IN You – emotionsoflife2016
191. Relax – I’m running a special this week..
192. Master Of The Game – andsoitisborn
193. Exceptional Scars – damswriter
194. Biasini Speaks: I’ve got a Buzz Cut! – HorseAddict
195. More Myanmarese food – Don’t hold your breath
196. Strange Wednesdays: Going Medieval – Everyday Strange
197. Pre-Date Reflections – The Stars, Moon and You
198. Haiku Dreams – Zachary W Gilbert, Author
199. Photos of some ‘exceptional’ garden ideas – Karyn’s Domain
200. The World Outside the Window – The Only One
201. writingiswonderful – writingiswonderful
202. Exceptional
203. Full [tanka] – Wind Rush
204. B*_ live – Just a Click
205. Scene: Silhouettes – MindEscapes
206. Exceptional – Stripped Sugar Scrubs
207. Feel of Neglecting – The Bonny Cat
208. A Happy Ending – Redux Of Rex
209. Ordinary – Ashquill
210. NATURE SPEAKS, A LESSON OF LIFE – Rainbow
211. Week – This Girl’s Got Curves
212. The Holly Tree Tales – Poetry At The Holly Tree Tales
213. Low brain activities – Wells Baum
214. Adulation backfires – Bird Flight
215. Cimmerian Sentiment – It’s Just A Game – (Part – 12) Verena In Evermont
216. Exceptional – All About Writing and more
217. THE CHANGING NATURE OF EDUCATION – Boringbug

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