Friday's 5 with Kristen Irving

1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first knew I loved writing in primary school, thanks to encouraging teachers and a voracious library habit. I've never stopped writing for long, even in stressful times. However it's only been in recent years, with readings, the pamphlet and the book, that I've managed to de-weird the term 'poet' for myself long enough to don it.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?
I recently described the 'frustrated Bingo' feeling, from times in Scrabble games when you have a beautiful 7-letter word lined up and nowhere to put it. Having a killer last line and having to abandon it after much thrashing around, because the piece as a whole just isn't working and needs completely rethinking. Other than that, trying to continually develop my vocabulary and not always write to type. Being aware of the phrases I return to and use as crutches and working at finding new ways to say things.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?
Excited and immediately anxious. It was like leaving the door to my house unlocked and going for a long walk.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?
Promoting poetry creatively, women in science, equality issues, kindness, compassion and robots.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?
I'd ask Orson Scott Card if he still believes the homophobic words he wrote in 1990 and give him a shot at rethinking.

Kirsten Irving's poetry collections are What To Do (Happenstance, 2011) and Never Never Never Come Back (Salt Publishing, 2012). She is one half of the team behind collaborative poetry publisher Sidekick Books and the submissions editor of Fuselit magazine, and is a copywriter and proofreader with freelance collective Copy That.

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