Today, we are joined by Alli W. A wonderful poet who will be featured in fēlan’s very first issue.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in West Virginia, but I’ve lived in South Carolina for the past three years. I’m a sophomore in college and am majoring in English. I love coffee and Twitter a little too much.
When you create, what inspires you?
I can be inspired by so many things: hurt, happiness, lust, anger, insecurity, feminism, family, jealousy, and people-watching in coffee shops.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
I wrote What A Daughter Could Never Say almost a year ago, actually. My father’s side of the family has a dark past. My genetics and the way I was raised were things I was trying to understand and deal with during my freshman year of college, living on my own for the first time. Last year, when I wrote this poem, was the time that I began to actually acknowledge my mental illnesses and the influence that my father’s grim childhood and alcoholism have had on my life. I still struggle with forgiving my parents. I love them, but I do battle resentment towards them, since they chose to have me, knowing the mental illness and suicidal/homicidal tendencies that my father’s family has had. This poem is inspired by the daily undertaking of trying to forgive and love myself and my parents.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
I prefer to write in a notebook with pen, not pencil. My thoughts come to me more easily and quickly when I am actually writing, not typing. I like the permanency of pen. If I mess up or want to change something, what I wrote is still there. It allows me to have a deeper, more personal connection to my writing.
How did you first discover your love for writing?
In middle school, I coped with my loneliness and unrequited, secret crushes through writing “songs.” I don’t actually play an instrument, so my writing just eventually turned to poetry. I’ve loved reading since second grade, so I guess a love for writing grew from a love of reading and an appreciation of writers in general. I guess in middle school my loneliness (and just crazy feelings in general) had to be expressed in some way…so, writing.
What advice would you give to an aspiring poet/writer?
As an aspiring poet and writer, I would say that always having something with you that you can use to record your words is very important. You never know when inspiration will strike. Also, write whenever the feeling hits you. I think that the more you write, the better you become. Don’t forget that you don’t have to please everyone with your writing. You don’t have to please anyone with your writing. Just write what you think and feel. Chances are, there are people who can relate to your writing or just want to hear your point of view.
If you weren’t writing about love, what would be your topic of choice?
I think when it comes down to it, everything is about love or a lack of love. That being said, I love writing about so many different things, it would be difficult to narrow it down to just one chosen topic.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel love?
I feel so many things everyday: emotions, vibes, states of being, etc. I try not to feel love or become attached to nor dependent on any one person, because you can’t really trust anyone. Music, unfortunately, has the power to make me feel love in a deep way or remind me of the love that I feel, so I try to avoid that kind of music now. We as humans, are predictably unpredictable. You can change how you feel about someone, or someone can change how they feel about you in nearly a moment. Sure, that doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, which can be kind of scary. I do love (sorry, I’m enjoying the pun(?)) the title for this new zine, because the arts are most powerful when they are motivated by feelings and emotions. Art can make you think, but it is so enthralling when it makes you feel a certain way or validates/relates to how you feel, in general or about a particular thing.