A little insight into someone whose work I deeply admire; writer & poet Kathryn Carter.
What kind of woman inspires you?
Those who aren’t afraid of following their intuition towards haze-covered horizons; those who speak their truth in times when others have implied they ought to stay silent; those who do it their own way without asking for permission. Those are the kinds of souls who inspire me, regardless of sex or gender.
What inspired the beginning of The Haiku Times?
To be honest, I can’t remember; perhaps I wanted an excuse to write more haikus? In the beginning, I do remember feeling very afraid. I don’t think a poet can really hide in a poem, just as a painter can’t really hide in a self portrait. I still get scared when I press publish, but the fear feels different now; overshadowed by the gratitude I feel for the loving response the prose has received. Knowing your words have resonated with others, or stirred something at least...it’s an incredible feeling.
What is a constant theme explored in your body of personal work?
Lately I've been exploring and awakening to higher levels of consciousness. In a way I feel my words mirror my journey, but it’s never a purposeful push in any particular direction. My ego always thinks it knows exactly where it will take an idea, but once I’ve started writing the idea tends to take me somewhere else completely. I like it that way. Love and despair, too, tend to turn up frequently in my prose, especially in times when they are not invited.
Most influential writer/writers; who have impacted you on a personal or creative level?
I feel like everything I’ve ever read has left an imprint. I think the books I’ve really hated have, in a strange way, helped me as a writer just as much as the books I’ve loved. I’ll always hold a very special place in my heart for Rainer Maria Rilke, Sylvia Plath and Jeanette Winterson. The writers I remember most don’t just tell me stories; they expose me to life.
Favourite poem at the moment?
There is never a favourite, but I could read One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII by Pablo Neruda over and over again and still feel entirely transported. That’s when I know I’ve fallen in love with a poem, when I forget I’m here completely.
What do you want your work to say about the world, if anything?
I’m not sure it matters much what I would like it to say, so long as those who read my words feel something. Hope, love, joy or despair, hate or sorrow. Perhaps all of the above, cyclically, like the five stages of grief. My only desire is to be authentic; I believe art of any kind is more powerful when it’s rooted in truth.
Handwritten or typed notes, & why?
It depends. I always write poems by hand, especially when I’m writing them for those I love; all journaling, too, is done by hand. I feel more connected and present when it’s just myself, my pen and paper. Having said that, I’m a huge fan of digital bulleted lists, especially when I’m planning essay structures. It’s all about balance.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer. I’ll most likely be writing, but that’s the only thing I envisage. I used to think it was extremely important, knowing what was next. Lately I’m learning to like the not needing to know at all.
Favourite song or album; that is the soundtrack to your life?
It’s impossible to choose, though when I write there are a few artists I always return to: Nils Frahm, Ludovico Einaudi, Sevdaliza and Max Richter. For some reason; I also like to listen to Kill V. Maim by Grimes on high volume just before sending pitches, though I’m still not quite sure why.