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Interview with Christopher W. Clark

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Poetical Tv talks Exclusively to London based poet and performer, Christopher W. Clark.

Poetical Tv: Hi Christpher, what's the story behind you becoming a Poet?


Christopher: I basically started writing when I was four. I would use my pocket money to buy John Menzies jotters and would write stories and draw pictures in them to give to people. The first one was a gift for a relative and was about a magic bear that lived in the woods. When I started Uni four or five years ago, my tutor was the poet Sandeep Parmar who introduced the idea of poetry to my writing. She helped me better understand the form and underlying ideas, and how to bring that into my writing. I've pretty much written poetry ever since.



Poetical Tv: How would you describe the poetry you write?


Christopher: This is a bit difficult to answer as I think my poetry is constantly developing and evolving. The only thing that remains pretty much the same would be the voice contained within my work. It can be quite challenging for people as I tend to write in quite a sharp and abstract way that might seem fairly distant at first. Underlying that is a sentimentality and grounding in reality that often reveals itself as the poem progresses, or as the reader further explores the work. As much as that might put some people off, I like that specific idea my writing conveys. It reflects aspects of life that I'm often exploring with my poetry.


Poetical Tv: And how much would you say your poetry reflects you on a personal level?


Christopher: I think aspects of one's personality can only creep into their work, no matter how hard a writer might try to prevent that. I do try and avoid having anything too personal in there as it's more about presenting an idea to the reader and how they experience it, rather than being about what I'm thinking or feeling. That's not to say a poem doesn't start out from a particularly personal idea or experience, but I think poetry should be about more than that. Rather than telling the reader a particular way to think or feel about something, it should be about the reader discovering that for themselves and the specific journey that takes them there.


Poetical Tv: So, is there a favorite poem of yours that you feel most reflects how you feel about life or poetry in general?


Christopher: I would say that poems I'm particularly akin to, I feel differently about again a few months later. Writing is a state of flux and is very much a journey of exploration, so often I find that things I've written more recently represent more clearly how I feel about the world at that time. I think looking back at something you've written holds a great deal of fondness though and is like communicating with a past version of yourself, which is interesting. Saying that, the very first poem that I wrote holds quite important meaning to me and there are some that will always stand out, particularly 'Home'. It sums up a lot about what I was thinking at that time and ties into a lot of different things, more so than anything else I've written probably.


Poetical Tv:  When and where do you most feel inspired to write?


Christopher: I find that inspiration comes in waves and this is why it's important to find time to write. Once you get a wave, it's important to ride it to the end, no matter what comes out. Reading other people's work is especially inspiring. There's something about relating to someone on that level that spurs you on. It's also important to be as open as possible to what's going on around you. The littlest glimpse of something or part of a sentence can lead you into the most interesting of places if you let it.


Poetical Tv: And what was the last poem you wrote about?


Christopher: I've recently been editing a lot so it's been hard to find time to write anything new. Often something just comes out whilst taking a break. I put everything I write up on my website so it's like an archive of everything I've ever done. It also means that if my laptop dies (which recently happened) I don't lose all my work. The last poem is about being in a situation where a person has completely lost control of their senses through anger and being in a position where you are completely subservient to that kind of feeling. If you've ever been in either side of that situation, it's like the world around you doesn't exist. It made me think of telekinesis, like in an old Linkin Park video or more recently, the David Guetta and Sia video for 'Titanium'. I often have pop culture references floating around in my mind when I'm writing.


Poetical Tv: What motivates you to continue to write poetry?


Christopher: I think the ongoing exploration of the world is important. I don't just write, I explore academically. I think the two tie in nicely with each other though as it's all about developing a deeper understanding of the world around you. There's also something quite specific about sitting down and creating something that anyone who is creative will find is quite addictive and rewarding, albeit frustrating and exhausting at the same time. Maybe we're all just sadists underneath.


Poetical Tv: And what is next for you on your journey as a poet?


Christopher: I've currently just finished working on two big projects - one for the Royal Philharmonic Society and the other as part of an on-going photography project by Mick Frank. I think collaborative projects within the Arts is very important. I also have allowed a few composers to take recordings of my work to create music pieces with so am looking forward to the results. Apart from that I've been working on my first proper manuscript and creating a working portfolio. I have several Masters applications coming up for here and abroad. I think the opportunity to live and work in another country would be amazing. I'm very much interested in finding out different ways of writing and exploring cultures, experimenting with different forms and ideas.


Poetical Tv: Congratulations & good luck for the future. Final question Christopher, how can people possibly connect & interact with you online?


Christopher: There are a few ways to do that. I have a Twitter (@chriswillclark) which is updated quite regularly and is an important way to be able to communicate. I think there is something particular about writers and Twitter that work quite well together. My website (neveraboutyou.com) is updated with whatever I've been writing recently and is like one giant chap-book of all my work. I think online publishing is very important these days and allows a writer to connect instantaneously with followers of their work. Although that's not to say there isn't still room for good old-fashioned books you can hold in your hands. Also, it's pretty cool to be able to see your name in print somewhere beside something you've created in your room in South London.


Poetical Tv: Very true. Thank you very much Christopher.



(*Interview by @ThePoetSinclair Exclusively for PoeticalTv*)

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Categories: Interviews, Poetry

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