Dylan Thomas International Literary Residency: Natalie Ann Holborow

Med anledning av Dylan Thomas Literary Residence presenterar Populär Poesi de sex författare som ska medverka. Först ut är Natalie Ann Holborow från Wales.

Natalie Ann Holborow
Natalie Ann Holborow

Name: Natalie Ann Holborow
Age: 23
Hometown: Swansea
Favorite food: Chicken (I could never go vegetarian…)
Best Book ever written: There are too many to pick just one– I have far too many favourites! But The Color Purple by Alice Walker is one of them.

What do you know about Sweden and Tranås?
To be honest, it’s one country I know very little about but am curious to learn more. I know Sweden has some stunning natural environments and Tranas is near a beautiful lake. I can’t wait to learn more about Sweden and its culture!

What do you expect of the Dylan Thomas Literary residency?
I think it will be a great opportunity to put some very different creative minds together and learn from each other through writing. It will be a great opportunity to learn, get inspired and develop through combining different voices, styles and cultures.

What work do you plan to do during the residency?
I definitely want to focus on poetry. I’m aiming to produce a first collection soon and I hope to learn from other writers and get inspired by a setting away from Swansea (“lovely, ugly” as it is…) and develop more writing to produce for a first collection. I still feel I am developing as a writer and hopefully this will help me push the boundaries. I am keen to see what everyone else is currently working on and reading work from other writers!

You are Versifier-in-Residence on Dylan Thomas birthplace, tell us a bit more of your work there?
Part of my job is to promote creativity in the Birthplace using Dylan as inspiration. I hope to make Thomas’s work more accessible to those who may feel intimidated by the strange and lovely language of his poetry and engage people with his dramas and stories too. There is a growing interest in Swansea’s thriving poetry scene and I am thrilled to see so many people curious about it and getting inspired to put pen to paper. Whether it’s poetry, stories, plays, diaries or letters (as well as photography, acting, music and art), we can all express ourselves creatively. I hope to introduce groups and workshops as well as running competitions and staging plays so that everyone has a chance to get involved whatever their interests or whichever walk of life they are from. This is about coming together and creating a supportive community. I am also producing my own writing based on my experiences there.

You are writing your first poetry book, will you tell us a bit what your themes are?
I think it’s hard to pin down a single theme–so many are so broad and universal. A lot of my work focuses on the different angles of human love, yet I also find inspiration in personal experience, my Welsh roots, Greek mythology, old literature and fairytales. I still feel I’m developing and have a long way to go yet so I have to be patient until I can fine-tune my writing and polish it enough to get a collection together. My creative writing tutors have been excellent sources of inspiration and support along the way and I continue to value their honest and helpful critique and advice as I work towards a writing career.

You work a bit with spoken poetry on Howl Poetry– what do you think is the difference between spoken and written poetry?
Spoken poetry I guess is very much about performance. With ‘page’ poetry, you have the chance to read, re-read and think about ideas. Spoken poetry is delivered in the moment. You need to grab the audience with your words first-time. I took part in Oxslam, a charity poetry slam, earlier in the year and it really opened my eyes to the difference between the two. Howl isn’t so pressured about this– it’s just a supportive environment to share your work and has been a huge support for me since I started on the Swansea poetry scene. It will always be a special place for me and I’ve made some wonderful friends there and met some real talent. When you’re actually competing I found it becomes a lot tougher to get it right…and I think I can safely say I’m happy to stick with keeping it on the page and with Howl! Welsh performers such as Mab Jones and Clare Ferguson-Walker however have got the art down to a tee and are well worth going to see.