When did you first get involved with writing?
I was very young, around 8 years old. The teacher in my class said there was a competition and we all had to write a poem about “Winter”.
Everyone in the class wrote a poem and I was one of the writers selected for the “Pocketful of Poetry” book.
After that I really didn’t do much writing. There wasn’t much encouragement at our school and I sort of drifted along.
When did you return to writing?
I started to write in a serious way, around the age of 15. It’s an age where there are lots of swirling emotions and feelings and poetry was a very good way of getting some of my thoughts out.
I found poetry a very natural way of expressing myself, it definitely came naturally to me, and while some of the writing at that time was exploring very dark thoughts, it was always a useful experience for me to write those thoughts down.
As I have grown older my writing is now expressing more hopeful thoughts.
You have published your own work?
Yes. I gravitated towards Chez Nobody (an Arts space in Lurgan) and people were very encouraging there. I was letting people know what my plans were; I was going to publish my own work, and I went from there.
Were you coming to Chez Nobody to write?
It was a great place for me to come to write. It was quiet and friendly and welcoming. I found it very easy to work away while I was here. I could mingle or I could sit by myself and write. And everyone encouraged me to get on with things. People were very open minded and very enthusiastic.
How did you go about publishing your work?
I found online publishing organisations (Lulu.com) and I was able to submit my work and these companies would print up it up.
I would do the covers, work on the words, the stories and the poetry and eventually this would result in a book.
I’m very happy that I have managed to do this with very little support other than the people at Chez Nobody and my poems are available on Amazon if people want them.
I also put them out on Facebook and Instagram and there they do get a response.
Do you read your work at open mics or poetry events?
I struggle with depression and anxiety so only on occasion have I been able to read my poetry in public. I have been able to sing some of the songs I have written at events at Chez Nobody.
I find that writing, particularly writing poetry helps me with my mental health. It allows me to put forward my thoughts and ideas and that helps a lot with my well-being.
What are you looking to write about in the future?
I have tended to write from a particularly personal point of view but I have decided that I want to start writing more about Irish history. I want to study Irish History and then write poetry based on what I learn.
“The Customer Is Always Right”
I opened the cubicle door
And saw a corpse
“Your Life Is Passing By”
What you do to pass time
Is your life
Angels are in you
All you have to keep doing
Is letting them through
All poems by Carla Gormley