After featuring Olga’s poetry on our blog section we received such great feedback we decided to take it one step further and conduct an interview so we can get to know her better & where she draws her inspiration from…
Interview by Jo Blackened
Hey Olga, thank you for time today!
Thank you too, I appreciate the feedback so much!
With such great feedback from your poetry blog on our site, our readers would like to get to know you more. Can you start with telling us when you first start writing poetry?
I wrote my first poem in 2007 when I first visited London. I went there in my last year of the University I was studying in my home city, Voronezh State Pedagogical University, the faculty of foreign languages, to collect the data for my diploma and enhance my knowledge of English for final state exams at one of the language schools. I loved London so much that one day after the lessons (I do remember it so well!) I went to Bloomsbury Square and wrote a poem about the city.
‘A gust of wind,
Teardrops of rain
Can’t stop and it seems like pouring all day;
The City turns grey,
The trains feel so slow,
And you start to pray for the end of this show;
But there’s something so stunning, mesmerising and hypnotising, indeed!
As if the City is sparkling and crying for a treat.’
I should say it was a kind of ‘light period’ in terms of my poetry before I started writing much darker stuff some years later, in 2011-2012.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Oh, there are quite a few sources of inspiration. However, most of my poems are very personal and based on my life experience and events happening at a certain time. To be frank, I was married and had a very dramatic divorce, with very unhappy events that took place and devastated me badly. I had to deal with it all and, as someone said, I don’t remember exactly who, ‘writers and poets bleed in ink’. So, that’s when the so-called ‘darkness’ of my poems was born. I literally threw all the pain on paper and little by little, poem by poem, I felt this so badly needed relief and freedom. There were different unhappy moments in my life, but poetry would always be one of the tools to let all the heavy feelings out, set yourself free, move on, became stronger, and, also, be your real self. Moreover, that’s how my creativity was born.
Another powerful source of inspiration is nature. Being a spiritual person, I always get energy from such as forests, fields, etc.
I can sit for hours in some park on a lonely bench and something would cross my mind and go immediately in my notebook. I should say, in this case, my poetry is not necessarily dark and could be inspired by anything that really touches my heart – from some beautiful flower to a very beautiful person, love and admiration, etc.
So, your surroundings and nature are important to you?
Definitely! I think it’s a very important factor for all creative writers, poets, etc. It’s even more important when you’re an introvert as I can’t write in front of people, crowded places or even if there’s more than one person in the room!
Where do you write your poetry, do you make notes or just start writing?
It’s a very peculiar process! Sometimes, as I said before, I can sit with my notebook in some quiet place and get inspired by something, so I write it down. But most often this process happens on the spot – I call it ‘an impulse’ or ‘a spark’. And most often these sparks and impulses visit me at night! I can literally wake up out of the blue as there’s a line in my head that just has to be developed into a poem, so line by line a poem is born!
What do you use to write? Do you have a preferred method?
Another peculiar thing is that I always write in pencil. I can’t even explain why! I only use a pen when a poem is complete in pencil with all corrections and edits.
Poker Face? No, it’s Joker Face.
Alone, a loner changes tones,
Alone, the Joker performs the things unshown.
The room of darkest colours,
The witness of bitter smoke and clouds.
The mirror, so crystal clear
Reflects somewhat sincere.
Refreshing water from the tap
Prevents to have another snap.
However, there exists no such thing
That could help the Joker stop the pain at swing.
‘Tis not the Joker now, alas, but Pierrot,
Too obvious, no need to read Tarot.
So why so serious, so sad?
As it doesn’t seem that bad?
Hiding pain with weary sighs.
Nasty dawns keep creeping through the curtain,
And there’s something very certain –
Go, Joker, choose a smile,
Choose a play so they admire,
Twist their minds with your satire
With your bleeding heart on fire…
Do you always write about past or personal experiences?
Yes. It’s better to say that, past and present personal experiences and the way they affect me, the lessons I learned from them.
So, you use the darkness to find your light?
Yes definitely, it may sound weird, but I find special light in the darkness, a very special feeling, as in the darkness you begin to evaluate things much better, in my opinion. It’s in the darkness your eyesight gets sharper and you can see things clearer. It’s in the darkness you find out who you really are. It’s in the darkness you could wander for a long time but find the right key and solution. And, as we say, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Do you find this is why your poetry is loved so much with the gothic community?
I guess so, as the TRUE gothic community is all about a non-standard way of thinking and a completely different perception of the world.
You live in Russia but studied in London, what did you like about being in London?
Yes, I’m in Moscow but studied in London many times. I took and passed successfully so many exams there, and once, it was 2012 I think, I made up my mind to challenge myself and decided to take the IELTS exam, which is the main criterion to enter a UK university. I made the decision long before 2012 to study for a Master’s Degree. I remember that day in spring of 2013 so well when I took that exam, how nervous I was! When the results came out, I was shocked – 7.5 out of 9. I got 2 unconditional offers from City University, London, and the University of Surrey in Guildford. I chose Surrey because of its ranking, and as a result, I became a Master of Arts in Translation Studies with Intercultural Communication. However, I always lived in London since all my alternative friends lived there and I couldn’t imagine not going to Camden in London during the weekend or to my favourite places like Regent’s Park or Primrose Hill to enjoy the views.
Have you been writing more due to the lockdown of COVID19?
Yes, I wrote about this disaster as well. I really hope it won’t last too long and we’ll get back to our normal lives soon. I’m wishing everyone to stay safe and take extra care!
Resist it – Stay strong
Stay safe, I really hope it won’t last too long.
Fight it – Kill panic
Kill pain and despair,
I really hope we won’t get that manic.
Stop it – Stay home
Support each other,
I really hope our life won’t be so monochrome.
Life will never ever be the same, The hardest lesson being learned so far
My eyes are keeping tight this frozen flame, And in my heart, I have a place where hopes are;
And in my valiumated dreams – a New Tomorrow – With no threat, no fear, closed borders and no sorrow.
With all your poetry are you looking to get published?
Yes!! I am determined to publish my books. I have already accumulated so many poems! I would like to point out that my books shall be very peculiar too, they shall be artbooks with special non-standard design so when you take it in your hands, you feel amused and happy. Like you hold it in your hands and think – it’s not a book, it’s a piece of Art with Art inside. Another thing I would like to mention – I really want to use my poetry to help the ones in need and animals, become a member of some charities like ‘Mind’, Celia Hammond Animal Trust’, British Heart Foundation’, etc, so by selling each book, a part of the profit will be contributed to them.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to start writing?
Quite a tricky question! I do believe it comes naturally (my personal opinion), maybe I am wrong, but you can’t just learn how to start writing. It just comes to you or not. If it comes, you feel it, and only then can work on your style (this shall change and shape to its final form), method, etc. Besides that, I believe it could be a good idea to take a course on creative writing to enhance your writing skills.
And who is your favourite poet?
Oh, it’s not just one. I can name Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alfred Edward Housman, Alexander Blok, Mikhail Lermontov.
Thank you again for your time today. Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to our readers?
I would like to express my absolute gratitude for all your feedback. I am really pleased you enjoyed my poetry!
For those of you sharing the same passion in creative writing, I’m wishing you all the best with your art; be inspired and create! It makes this world much more beautiful!