Sunday, September 29, 2013

Helen Larham Guest Blog

Helen a regular member of The Writers at Lovedean is now the proud Centre Stage Poet of a wonderful poetry magazine Decanto.


I am a poet and busy Mum living in Hampshire And I have an ongoing ambition to have a collection of my poems published. I have had Poems published in: South 39and 42, Reflexions, Rain Dog,
Salopeot, Sarasvarti, Inclement, and Decanto Poetry Magazines. I have twice been placed highly commended in the Winchester Writer's conference poetry competition. I have had a poem included an Art exhibition. In the form of a written response, to Nick Shlee's painting, Buscot weir. I read my work regularly at the, Tongues and Grooves, poetry events in Portsmouth, and the Poetry CafĂ© in
Winchester. And I am a member of The Writers at Lovedean, writers group.

Yesterday I was chuffed to be offered 'Centre stage' poet by Decanto poetry magazine. I have been a contributor and subscriber to this magazine for a number approximately 3-4 years. Being a Centre Stage poet,  means that I will be the highlighted poet in Decanto for that issue, not sure if it is this coming November or next. The editor requested I send a head and shoulders photo, some extra poems; they will publish 3-4 instead of the 2 already excepted.

I also had to fill in a questionnaire of 12 questions.  This took me a couple of hours as the questions were quite extensive. Questions ranged from how long I had been writing, about 23 years, to who and
what things inspire me to write. This made me realize that my husbands paintings have provided a lot of inspiration over the years.  The Writers at Lovedean, especially Charlotte Comey's workshops have given me a lot of inspiration and helped to improve my writing a great deal. I was asked 'What did I think of 'Traditional and Modern poetry?' I tend to write free verse, I find writing to a rhyming scheme a bit constricting. However, I like some traditional poets, such as Betjeman.  I. enjoy reading modern poets. I like poetry that captures emotions and ideas in a way that is not constrained into any rigid
form. For me, it is the emotion, or idea that poem is trying to communicate that is important, not the form it takes.

The question I found the hardest was: 'Do you think poetry still has a place in our culture today'
I don't believe I would be a poet if I thought poetry was irreverent in our culture today. I believe poetry provides an important outlet to communicate and entertain, a vehicle for me to find my voice. Poetry
has provided me with the opportunity to be part of a wealth of creativity that exists, has always existed in this country. Although I am unlikely to get rich writing poetry, I think more people than ever
before are reading, and writing poetry.

From my experience I would say, If you like writing poetry, don't give up. Keep persisting, sending your work off to publishers. I have been writing for many years, and contributing to poetry magazines for
about 18 years. But, I don't think I would have kept going as long as I have if I didn't love writing poems. For me, nothing else makes it worth while.     Decanto Magazine