'Growing Up' by Eva Curless is Write Out Loud Poem of the Week
The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Growing up’ by Eva Curless. Eva, a student at Leeds University, is from Wigan and reads at Write Out Loud Wigan at The Old Courts when she is home from university. She’s also a regular slam performer, and was runner-up in the Commonword Superheroes of Slam heat at Wigan last year. ‘Growing Up’ includes these lines: “We carry childhood with us, / a valuable antique, / the teddy bear that hoards dust / at the back of our shelves.” Her poetry hero is Edgar Allan Poe, she told us in a Q&A:
How long has poetry been an important part of your life and can you remember why it became so?
Poetry has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started writing poetry from a very early age, maybe seven or eight years old. I think my first poem was one that I wrote about Remembrance Sunday for a school assignment and after that I never looked back! I think growing up in a family heavily influenced by music inspired me to write poetry. I can remember being moved by some of the lyrics that I was hearing and being aware of the power of words. However, I only started performing in front of an audience just over a year ago; I could never get on stage and bare my soul to an audience before I went to college and found my confidence.
What kind of poetry do you write? What motivates you?
Poetry is a release for me. Writing my thoughts down on paper is my way of dealing with things and so the majority of my poems are very personal. My poems are often my feelings towards things that are happening either directly to me, or in society that I feel strongly about. I enjoy playing around with rhyme and the sound of poetry too, I think this is also influenced by my love for music.
If you could only have one poet’s work to read, which one would you choose?
This is a difficult question. There's a few that I could choose but I think it would have to be Edgar Allan Poe. He creates such an incredible atmosphere with his poems and the way that he uses rhyme and meter to create his rhythm is just awe-inspiring. I could read ‘The Raven’ and ‘Annabel Lee’ over and over again.
Do you perform your work and if so, where are your favourite places to perform?
Yes, I've been performing for just over a year. When I'm home from University, I perform at The Old Courts in Wigan, which is where I started out. It's my favourite place to perform; supportive atmosphere and a warm community of poets. I also perform with the Leeds Spoken Word Society and I've performed at several venues round Leeds. However, my favourite is an open mic in the basement of Crowd of Favours pub. It's such an intimate space and a really cosy atmosphere.
You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?
Definitely my guitar! That way, I can play my favourite songs and sing along as loud and out of tune as I want with no one there to shout at me!
by Eva Curless
A colouring book becomes Facebook.
A tweet isn’t the sound from a bird.
Mobile devices hold us hostage
to high definition
when ambitions are blurred.
Light up trainers become stilettos
that shush insecurities
and tightly crush toes
,flashing in the strobe lights
of newly found adventure,
that makes us drunk on
possibilities and hope.
But dazzled by choice,
dazed by possibility,
we become lost in life’s kaleidoscope.
can’t heal heart breaks.
No “kiss it better”
can soothe mistakes.
Twinkle twinkle little star.
Nursery rhymes become
that rattle parents’ patience
with every beat,
every unmade sheet,
every stumble home late,
sight of growing wings.
But we carry childhood with us,
a valuable antique,
the teddy bear that hoards dust
at the back of our shelves.
And our days are a game of hide and seek,
to find ourselves.