At the Victorious Festival this young poet caught my eye, her work had so much energy. I think this is a name we will hear in the future.
Name: Katie Gill
I am 19 and have been writing poetry since I was about 14. It is largely autobiographical as I am inspired by things I have experienced personally and by what people close to me have been through. I am also inspired by Kate Tempest and Sylvia Plath. I will be going to Queen Mary University of London soon to study English. I hope to become an English lecturer in the future whilst pursuing my writing.
In particular, what led you to write?
I had always written short stories and poems when I was very young and I have always loved reading; my Dad nurtured my love of literature by giving me lots of different books and encouraging me to read widely. Experiencing different styles of writing spurred me on to take my writing seriously and I started writing poetry when I was about 14. I remember that my English teacher read the poem 'Edge' by Sylvia Plath on National Poetry Day when I was about 15 and I was so blown away by the powerful imagery and language choices and so moved by Plath's life experiences that I was inspired to write about my own experiences and feelings.
How do you envision your work will impact your readers?
People have told me that my poetry is quite dark so I hope it doesn't leave people feeling depressed! I hope that they can read or listen to my poems and relate to certain feelings that I discuss. I hope that they find the strong emotions moving and engaging.
Are there any tips you can share on what parents can do to foster the love of reading and books?
When I was little my parents always made sure that they read to my sister and I every day and my Mum took us to the library regularly to choose books. When we were learning to read Mum would sit down with us every night and help us. I think that this instilled a love of literature in me from a very young age and I believe that encouraging children to read when they are still young can help them to grow up with a positive attitude towards books. Finding some time each night, no matter how little, to sit down with a child and help them as they are learning to read a book can give them the confidence to continue reading into adulthood and to enjoy doing so. I also think that taking a child to a library so that they can choose books themselves will inspire them to read more as they will be more likely to read a book that they have chosen and that they are interested in.
What aspect of life do you want your readers to know about?
A lot of my poetry is quite personal but it covers topics that people could relate to, particularly teenage girls. Its no coincidence that I started writing poetry seriously when I became a teenager and experienced the changes that ensue and the pressures that can arise. Its a bit of a cliché but young people can feel pressures, be that due to school, the media or peers and hopefully by talking about my own experiences people may relate to certain poems and feel less alone or become more aware of topics that have a lot of stigma attached to them.