[Interview] Shelley Blake: poet and freelance writer

Shelley Blake has been writing from a very early age. Some of her work has been published in magazines that include The Program Melbourne; Inpress Magazine; The Skinny; and, The Ranfurly Review.

In 2006, her poem, "Hidden" was runner-up in the Poetry Category of the Amnesty International and Sydney Pen, Freedom Writer's Awards. Two years earlier, she had been awarded membership with Golden Key International Honour Society based on results of the work she did in her Bachelor of Media Studies with LaTrobe University.

In this interview, Shelley Blake talks about her writing:

When did you start writing?

I began writing from a young age, around 15. I was always fascinated with song lyrics, from artists like Jeff Buckley, Thom York and Nick Cave. The first poetry I read was from Australian writer Luke Davies, who is still one of my favourite writers.

I always wanted to work in environmental science, but when I was around 14 I realised I wasn't inclined to the 'sciences'. I begun writing at around this age which lead me to study literature and journalism at university.

I began writing for arts publications in Melbourne and working for environmental groups after university, so in this was able to blend my two passions.

I don't know if it was a conscious decision to become a published writer as such, but writing is better shared then kept too close to ones self.

How would you describe your writing?

I am really experimenting with short prose poetry at the moment. I have been quite transient in the past 12 months, travelling through Europe and parts of England and Scotland.

My current work has been inspired by the changing landscape, complex human struggle and relationships and the idea of contentment.

Who influenced you most?

I don't know if it's the 'who' so much as 'what' ... relationships, humans, nature, peace, questioning, love, struggle.

I think there is poetry is everything, it's just everywhere.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

My main concerns I think are universal when it comes to writing and the arts in general. The financial struggle and the need to balance your art with surviving and paying the bills.

What part of the work do you enjoy most?

I enjoy the free flow, the creative process, it is so necessary to me, it's just like breathing.

Who is your target audience?

I don't know that I have a target audience.

Related articles:

"Shelley Blake, poet and freelance writer", New Writing International, April 28, 2009.

Possibly related books:



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