The Jamaican-American poet visits the UK in May 2017 for a book tour of her latest poetry collection Madwoman (Peepal Tree Press, 2016). Read about the tour here.
What 3 words would you say best describe you?
Irreverent, direct, inward-and-outward looking.
Tell us how you got into writing and teaching/lecturing
I was a beginning writer when I started to teach writing and the two went and still go hand in hand. I love it when people, from kindergartners to graduate students to people I meet on the street, will let me talk about poetry and read and recite poems to them.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
Using language to create and recreate experiences in and of the world.
Where would you say your style of writing comes from?
A meeting of old world and new, a love of tradition and innovation.
Tell us a little about your upcoming tour of England
I'll be visiting 5 cities in 10 days in England, Scotland, and Ireland and look forward to seeing friends and meeting new people along the way. Also to being on trains. I love trains.
What creative masterpiece do you wish you had written?
Too-too many to name but, for example, these are two odes I love: "Ode to the Nightingale" by John Keats and "Ode to the Maggot" by Yusef Komunyakaa.
What's an important piece of insider knowledge you have as a writer?
That poetry is not abstruse, that poems are relevant to contemporary experience and in language that includes the demotic as well as lyrical and metaphoric.
Renaissance One is launching Madwoman by Shara McCallum in partnership with Peepal Tree Press and Commonwealth Writers on 9 May at 6pm in central London. As places are limited it is being run via a guest list. If you are interested in attending email us at hq [at] renaissanceone dot com. Read about the full tour dates here.