The Monthly interviews Poet, Writer and Journalist, Rebecca Cooney – Part 3 – Building a career and starting a podcast

Part two of this interview is here

Have you won any big slam competitions?

I have been in a final, the Hammer and Tongue National Final, in 2018 and I won heats to get to that final. I have won Genesis a few times, and I was longlisted for the Outspoken Poetry Prize for performance poetry in 2020.

I like the game of Slam competition and it really doesn’t worry me too much if I win because for me it is another chance to perform my work and I do love being on stage.

The Hammer and Tongue Final is held at the Royal Albert Hall and I loved being part of that event, but I really don’t think too much about the competitive element otherwise I don’t think I could do it.

You have a poetry podcast, Dead Darlings?

My work started a podcast and I thought it was something I could do in my spare time, and I could take the skills I had developed at work and use them for promoting poetry. I thought the podcast could be fun and it could look into having wider conversations about the British poetry scene. I like doing interviews, and I like asking questions and showcasing poets. As a good example, we had Peter Bearder on recently and he wrote, Stage Invasion, which is a snapshot of the spoken word scene in Britain, He was trying to examine the phenomenon of Spoken Word by looking at the origins and influences and the journey which ends up with spoken word ending up in bank adverts. I think that the podcast allows us to document conversations which are taking place amongst people in the scene, just as conversations are had in other trades and industries.

Is it just you hosting the podcast?

In setting up for the podcast I didn’t want to be doing it on my own, so I approached Laurie Eves and Hannah Chutzpah to be part of the podcast with me.

Where to now?

I found that the pandemic had quite an impact on me both as a writer and as a poet who likes to perform. I haven’t been writing as much lately and I certainly miss the interactions of meeting up at events and performing. I need to get back to writing consistently.

I am in the process of writing, (secretly), a novel and I would like to work on a poetry collection. I did submit a collection for publication but unfortunately it was rejected and I did get some feedback which I am still chewing over.

The best way to put is, I am still regrouping in this post pandemic period but I am hoping to return with new material shortly.

Part one of this interview is here

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