February: Marianne Eloise – Poet Interview

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Marianne Eloise

‘Cactus’

 

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Today we welcome Marianne Eloise to the Muse Shack. I found her debut poetry ‘Cactus’ enlightening, current, challenging and entertaining. It awoke in me, a fellow mover of places, some of the emotions and feelings of the author. I recommend this volume to all readers

Bio: Marianne Eloise is a UK-based writer, academic and journalist who works in the media. She loves pop culture, the coast, and 90s/00s trash aesthetics. Cactus is her debut poetry collection.

 

What inspires you to write poetry?

I don’t really get inspired as such, I’m just very motivated to write and work through my experiences. I also write in an attempt to preserve a place I’ve been or a particular time.

What is a measure of success as a poet?

I would consider myself successful if poetry was the only thing I needed to sustain my lifestyle, but I haven’t achieved that yet! I don’t think there are many poets who have achieved that, so for now I’d be happy just having people know who I am.

Who are some of your favourite poets?

Honestly, I don’t read poetry. I like Plath enough, but I am primarily influenced by music and literature. Traditionally, poetry can be very inaccessible linguistically so I aspire to something more easy-going or lyrical. I probably borrow more from emo music like Bright Eyes or Brand New than I do poetry.

What about Cactus? What was special about it? What inspired you to write it?

I have been publishing poetry online for over three years and I wanted a collection that I and my readers could hold and that I could share. I looked at my work to establish a theme and found that I wrote about place a lot in an effort to understand my relation to certain locations, so I gathered several of them together and wrote new ones.

What makes a poem good?

As someone who doesn’t read much poetry, I’m not sure I’m the best to answer this, but I’ll try! When I was at University and reading other students’ poetry every day, it was so immediately clear which ones were false or trying to practice forms or ideas that didn’t come naturally. I think you need to have a really strong voice and an understanding of language to know how to manipulate it and have words work well together. Trying to sound old fashioned or evoke the same voice as writers 200 years ago is a really easy way to make a poem terrible. I just don’t think that a genuine voice is something that can be taught, only practiced.

How did you publish ‘Cactus’?

After researching and soliciting a great deal of advice on how to publish through a publishing house, I realised that it could take years and I wouldn’t have the control over my work that I want. So I turned to Blurb, a self-publishing site where I could have complete control over editing, design, etc. My partner (Owain Anderson) designed the cover, which I never would have had with a traditionally published collection.

What advice would you give aspiring poets, especially those who want to get into print?

Get a real job because poetry will never pay the bills. But if you’re good work hard at it, get your work out there, do readings, make friends. Read as much of anything as you can. Have other options and expertise, because it gives your work far more depth than if you’re just working in a vacuum of poetry. Google magazines and websites, especially ones in your area, and try to get some traction. Make yourself known in some way, even if it’s through your own website or self-published.

You can reach Marianne at her website, twitter @marianne_eloise, Instagram @mazisthebest, or by email Marianne.eloise@hotmail.com

CACTUS/LINKS

Cactus is Marianne’s debut poetry collection and contains three sections of poems about places: Leicester, Brighton, and California.. It has several poems you will never see on February Stationery.

 

You can find it in these places:

Kindle
Blurb
Amazon UKUSA (available on others if you search)
Bigcartel (directly from me, with a note)
and the Goodreads page (courtesy of Becca at Libfem) is right here

Rejection and Self Publishing.

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What keeps you back from writing, or even worse, from submitting that manuscript?  As writers, many of us experience the fear of rejection. Losing confidence, we assign our manuscript to the file drawer or worse, the rubbish bin.

Believe it or not, many of the great writers whose names and titles roll off our tongues have faced the same fears and ultimate rejection. Here are just a few of them:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Dubliners by James Joyce

Chicken Soup for Soul by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen

Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake

Jaws by Peter Benchley

Dune by Frank Herbert

Gone with The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Recognise the famous names? Imagine if they had given up, suffered a loss of confidence, threw their work in the trash can…literature would have suffered a severe loss and we would be the poorer for it.

Some of the great authors resorted to publishing their own work, at a time when such a move was frowned upon. Later they came to be picked up by the big publishing houses. Now, self-publishing has become totally respectable and has grown at a phenomenal rate. Many authors who have been rejected in recent years have become successful in terms of sales and followers; Some have been picked up by the main publishing houses, netting them substantial incomes.

When you next sit down with pen and paper or the keyboard and you fear rejection and feel your work is unworthy; remember the greats that have gone before you and become aware of those who have carved out their own path by self-publishing.

You may be the next best seller. Self-publish and have the satisfaction of watching a growing readership. Nothing increases confidence and self-esteem like it.

Those Were Our Days Volume 2

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It took a long time but at last, the second volume of Those Were Our Days is published. Available from all major book distributors and Amazon. The volume comes in both print and Kindle editions.

Old and young alike are often excited when stories of past times are retold. It takes the listener and the reader into worlds otherwise unknown and lost.

People, places and events that we might forget, or that others may not know about are all captured here in delightful, evocative and emotional stories.

The writers of the York U3A Living Memories Group have completed a second-year project to give us new insights into the world that was. Readers will be delighted, charmed and moved as they step into bygone days and have the opportunity to be surprised by joy as they remember and relive once again the world that is past. For those too young to remember the times that are captured in this volume there is the opportunity to share the experiences of the Authors’ worlds.

The Authors hope that this collection of short stories will excite the memory of the reader as they begin to draw on their own memories of a bygone era.

Enjoy the ride through time.

Available now in print and on Kindle.