I am ecstatic to share an interview with one of my favorite poets. When I first read The Last Time I’ll Write About You, I related and loved so much of it. I can’t wait to read more about Dawn’s writing process.
Fun fact: My middle name is Dawn. 😁
Poetic Justice is a month long event, beginning April 1st to April 30th in honor of National Poetry Month. Throughout April there will be interviews, guest posts, excerpts and other poetic posts. I hope you will follow along. To read the introductory post, read about my poetic background as well as the schedule for the month, you can find out more here.
Poetry has meant so much for me since I was a teenager, what does poetry mean to you?
To be honest, poetry and I didn’t get along when I was younger. I was always intimidated by it, as if it was speaking a language I couldn’t understand. I’ve put poetry in the backseat for the longest of time, until I’ve encountered a reading slump that made me crave for shorter works. I started reading poems piece by piece, until I was hungry and confident enough to take on full collections. Since then, I’ve devoured works from so many talented poets. I realized since that poetry isn’t something that you should be afraid of – that it is, in fact, a medium that has its own language and style that could appear intimidating at first, but once you spend enough time to get to know it, it could serve as your mentor, confidant and saviour.
How and when did you begin writing poetry?
I started writing once I started reading. I suppose it’s like you are what you eat – I write what I read. When I encounter reading slumps, I’m usually having writer’s block as well, so when things started to flow better for me on the reading side, it affected my writing.
Do you ever deal with writer’s block and if so, how do you deal with it?
Yes, a lot of times. When I do have this, I usually take breaks. I seek content from others and allow myself to be the audience instead. Inspiration usually strikes me when I’m in the audience’s seat, but sometimes I get the inspiration but not the strength to write. For these cases, I just divert my attention to other activities to let myself breathe, then free write and/ or talk to my trusted friends to discuss the bits where I’m stuck. That usually takes care of it.
Some writers have to write with complete silence, others with music, some need a special beverage or go to their favorite spot to write. What is your writing process like?
I do a lot of writing while I’m in transit – The Last Time I’ll Write About You is mostly written while I was commuting. Traffic in the Philippines is quite notorious and I have done my fair share of sitting for hours, so I usually write down my ideas quickly in my phone notes. It’s sort of my way of keeping track of all the things that came to mind – so it’s all very raw and unpolished. I collect these for a period of time until I feel like i have enough to have a serious sit down and take a look at everything: rewrite, remove and improve whatever I had in there. I do this in isolation mostly – during nights, in my bedroom, sometimes with music on, sometimes without.
Do you have any advice for someone struggling to write poetry?
A lot of the times I feel like people are only struggling because they were experiencing self-doubt. So for this, I say: write like no one’s gonna find out. It was probably the best thing that I ever did for me. I wrote The Last Time I’ll Write About You thinking that it was just for me, didn’t even consider it as an idea for a book at first – just kind of wrote everything down and didn’t censor myself with the thoughts of what would they think of this? Of me? Once you liberate yourself from those kinds of questions, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to write the poems that you want to write, but also need to.
What poets would you recommend? (Feel free to leave social media links or books)
I will always have a special place in my heart for these poets, as they were the ones who served as my gateway to the world of poetry:
• Nayyirah Waheed
• Yrsa Daley-Ward
• Rupi Kaur
• Anne Sexton
• Charles Bukowski
• Pablo Neruda
Since then, I’ve read so many wonderful books from Bianca Sparacino, Warsan Shire, Charissa Ong Ty, Layla Tanjutco, Sierra deMulder, McKayla Robbin, Christina Hart, Shelby Leigh, Gretchen Gomez, Amanda Lovelace to name a few. There are so many out there with distinct voices and powerful messages to share and I can’t wait to discover it all.
Should I be
That my only idea
- via Goodreads
Dawn Lanuza writes contemporary romance, young adult fiction and poetry. She has two first loves – music and writing – and is lucky enough to surround herself with them. She works for music by day and writes meetcutes and snappy comebacks by night.
I’m so grateful to you, Dawn for participating in my humble event. Your book has inspired me and I cannot wait to read more by you in the future.
If you enjoyed this interview, please give Dawn some comment love or maybe even a Twitter follow! Do not forget to enter my giveaway for to win either a physical poetry book or a Kindle book from one of the participating authors.