Creative Insight Interview

Amy Hodkin interviews Joel Russell and Zoe Wells about writing, filmmaking, radio, poetry, and more. The two offer their advice on how to launch and maintain major projects such as radio shows and magazines, and their experiences trying to develop their crafts within the confines of creative writing degrees.

You’re Not a Wizard, Harry: Demystifying Writing

[published by Kamena Magazine, 20/01/19]

The division between STEM and Art is often explained by something inherent, something natural, not nurtured. That some people have logical brains that can compute large amounts of data, and some people have artistic brains that output illogical, beautiful creations into the world. Some people are right-handed, some left; some people are scientists, some are artists. That it has nothing to do with want and everything to do with natural talent.

This idea is poisonous, not least in the fact that it grossly oversimplifies the human experience, but also in that it’s so wrong it stops us thriving in our chosen careers. Continue reading “You’re Not a Wizard, Harry: Demystifying Writing”

Jonathan Edwards’ “Gen”: A Human Comedy

[originally published in Kamena Magazine]

It’s hard to find a funny poet – it seems that the vast majority of us are doomed to sit around bemoaning the sad state of the world as it is/was/always will be. It’s even harder to find someone who can be funny without being either superficial or depressing. But somehow, despite the many ways the world has changed for the worse in the four years since My Family and Other Superheroes, Jonathan Edwards has done it: he’s got me laughing again.

Continue reading “Jonathan Edwards’ “Gen”: A Human Comedy”

Sports at University – Why joining a club is one of the best things you can do

[published in The Boar, 03/10/18]

The way I see it, there are three main ways you meet people in first year: your course, your accommodation, and the clubs that you join. My first year was pretty much decided from the offset.

Course: English is an absurdly large degree. There are hundreds of people, and everyone has to do the same modules for first year which means that you’re flooded with lectures of three hundred people. You’re lucky if you see the same person across two seminars

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Killing Eve: ‘insight into the mind of a killer’

[published in The Boar, 18/10/18]

When Killing Eve was first announced, I was cautiously optimistic. The premise was an enticing one: a crime-thriller show about a government worker chasing down a contract killer, with the two leads played by Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jodie Comer (Doctor Foster) respectively. The idea of a female led show of this type sounded fantastic, though as someone who’s been scorned by mediocre tokenistic attempts in the past (Ghostbusters is a sore point) I knew that much was down to the showrunner. Enter Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

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Bringing Poetry into the Public Sphere

[published in The Boar, 04/09/2018]

From the ancient Greek epics, to the eddas of the Norse skalds, to the confessional poetry of the second half of the 20th century, poetry has been a constant in the way we tell stories. But, to the vast majority of modern people, poetry is on its way out. Blame it on what you will: a boom in digital storytelling; syllabi that fixate on old poets whose subjects are irrelevant to a modern audience; or simply an art form that has failed to grow with humanity and reached its natural end. But one thing is for sure: poetry, as we know it, is on its way out.

Read more.

Poetry on the Canals – An Interview with Jessica Kashdan-Brown

[published in Kamena Magazine, 10/08/2018]

Jessica Kashdan-Brown is a current Warwick Writing Programme (WWP) student, poet, and writer, originally from Bath. Her current project, the Bath Canal Poetry Route, works with the help of the Canal & River Trust to place poetry in the locks of the Bath canals, such that the poem changes as the water in the lock rises and falls.Continue reading “Poetry on the Canals – An Interview with Jessica Kashdan-Brown”

Shoot from the Lip Finals

Shoot from the Lip is an annual, competitive slam poetry event run by Jack McGowan in Leamington Spa. Poets face each other off in heats, with winning poets (as voted by the audience) making it through to the finals. The filming of the finals was a joint effort of Kamena Magazine and Shoot from the Lip.
Shot, edited, and transcribed by Zoe Wells.