Writer Of The Week: Chris Young

Writer of the Week Chris Young

Chris Young is our new Writer of the Week – her wonderful poem ‘My New Art’ features in Special #219, on sale now.

What inspires your poetry? 

I’m lucky enough to be able to spend much of my time in the countryside (I live there!).

Nature, and especially the changing seasons are a constant source of inspiration; as are personal experiences, overheard conversations and generally watching the world go by, as I especially enjoy writing gently humorous, narrative poems.

Finally, and probably the source of the most inspiration, it’s reading other people’s poetry.

Do you write in other mediums as well as poetry? 

Yes!  I just love to write.

What is it about poetry that you love? 

I love the way poetry can conjure up images, create scenes or tell a story, using very few words. And I enjoy the challenge of its composition.

Which poets do you admire and what are your favourite poems? 

Goodness there are so many – contemporary, twentieth century and long gone!

I’m a big fan of Wendy Cope’s clever, comic poetry. I love to read Seamus Heaney’s collections. I enjoy the Romantic poets like Wordsworth and Byron.

And of course, I really enjoy reading the poetry published in the “Friend” (I like to call it research!).

As for favourite poems, I have so many it’s impossible to choose, but “Christmas” by John Betjeman is one of many which I’ve recently re-read.

Have you always wanted to be writer? 

Always. I’ve had a variety of occupations over the years, but I’ve always squeezed in some writing too.

Notebook and pencil or laptop? Kitchen table or study? Blank wall or inspiring view? 

When I’m writing poetry it’s always notebook and pencil first. I transfer it to my laptop when I think the poem is more-or-less ready to be left alone for a month or two. After that, further editing is on the laptop.

I like to write early in the morning, when the house is quiet, with a coffee and a comfy seat. But I will often be speaking, out loud, the lines and stanzas of something I’m working on, testing the sounds and trying different words, whilst gardening or out walking.

It’s probably lucky we don’t have neighbours!

What’s your one top tip for an aspiring Writer of the Week? 

Read the publications, read the huge amount of guidance the team take the time and trouble to post on the website, and don’t give up.

Oh dear, that’s three things isn’t it? I can be a bit wordy!

Read more interviews with our writers here.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.