Scarlett Ward

Staffordshire based poet Scarlett Ward’s signature style of combining the written word with illustration and natural elements, most notably pressed flowers, creates an instantly intimate feeling to the work. Creating a setting for her readers where they feel they’re being allowed a glimpse into her most personal thoughts and reflections. Writing from the heart she pours herself into every word. It is this pure embodiment that makes her poems so captivating and relatable. Drawing on her own experiences Scarlett writes in such a way that it feels as though she is verbalising your inner most emotions in delicate prose. 

 

 
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"Scarlett is your stereotypical Taurus. After graduating with a degree in English and history from Keele university in 2015, she got into a career of copywriting for websites, but will always introduce herself as a Poet first. In the past yeat she has published in several poetry anthologies and literary magazines, including “Within Darkness & light”, “Diverse verse”, Femini magazine and Hook magazine to name a few. She writes about mental health, identity and above all, love."

 

 
 

Interview with Scarlett

 
 

How would you describe your work to someone you’ve just met on a night out?
Visual Poetry that you don’t just read, you LOOK AT.

Who/what are the biggest influences to your work?
Sylvia Plath is an incredible poet who has a special skill of saying something ordinary, in such an extraordinary way. And I think that’s what a poet does- we digest the world in front of us and reproduce it in a way that conveys the magic we absorb from the every-day. Her experiences with mental illness also mirrored quite closely my own, and I discovered through her that poetry could be the home within which I could shelter when my bpd and bipolar whipped up unpleasant storms. Without having read her in school I don’t think I’d have got into poetry at all.
 

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Tell us a bit about your latest project?
I solo curated a Poetry x Art exhibition where I exhibited pieces of work that had some kind of visual poetry aspect to them. I had curated art shows before but with this one my aim was to show the relationship between image and word. I feel like poetry should appeal to all senses for its meaning to be fully digested: for example I used my typewriter to make illustrations with symbols and punctuation, I recorded the sound of my typewriter tapping to play through headphones, and punched Braille dots into my work to add an additional layer of sense though touch. I also hosted a spoken word open mic within the exhibition to tie it all together and showcase local poets’ talent.


If you could have a portfolio review with anyone who would it me?
Honestly, every time I post a poem or painting or piece of work online I feel like I’m getting a review from the public, and that’s so valuable to me. I’m really grateful to every single person that follows my work for their feedback and response!

 
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What is the one main thing you want people to think/feel when they look at your work?
I just want people to FEEL. Anything. We live in a world that can be so emotionally constipated that poetry and art are few of the remaining arenas where people can bleed out what they’re feeling and truly examine their responses. I have bpd and one of the symptoms is inability to monitor or regulate emotion, so everything I feel is exaggerated. And whilst that can be difficult when depression drags me down, it’s also a blessing because I feel love, joy, friendship, and compassion at a higher frequency. I want my words to reflect that intensity of life. If you relate to some of my words and find that they help you understand something you’ve been struggling with then that’s wonderful, but if you read it and hate then even better; just feel whatever you can at its highest volume. Don’t live in greyscale.

If you could have a portfolio review with anyone who would it me?
Honestly, every time I post a poem or painting or piece of work online I feel like I’m getting a review from the public, and that’s so valuable to me. I’m really grateful to every single person that follows my work for their feedback and response!

Use three emojis to sum up your work?
  

What was the last song you listened too?
Tash sultana- jungle. (She’s all I’ve been listening to recently I’m utterly obsessed.)

A word you say all the time?
LOVE

what can we buy you if we see you at the bar?
A black coffee.

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sweet or salty popcorn?
Both, but separate. I hate food touching and everything has to be separate. So different bowls please.

what animal would you describe yourself as?
I’d like to say a snail because I enjoy my home comforts, eat mostly vegetables, and can be kind of shy. Also it gives me opportunity to talk about my pet giant African snail Merle. She’s awesome. She’s palm-sized now with really cute deely-bopper eyes and she’s still got loads of growing to go. Think where you’re putting your feet when you walk ‘cause snails are great!

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What new work can we look forward to in the future?
This year I’m working on finishing my manuscript and producing my own poetry book. I’m in the process of submitting to a couple of publishing houses so keep your fingers crossed for me.
I’m performing at Wolverhampton literature festival 28th January as part of Poets Against Racism collective and I’m also performing at Verve Poetry Festival in Birmingham 18th February.

 

To read more of scarlett's poems visit her Instagram and etsy 

 
 
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Images and Poetry by Scarlett Ward words by Jessica-Rose Lena 

Kirsty Mcewen