The Monthly interviews Damien Donnelly from “Eat the Storms” poetry podcast about the second issue of “The Storms” poetry journal – Part 1 – Setting Up

When you first started the podcast did you have a plan regarding “Eat the Storms”?

There was no real plan, or more accurately, no coherent plan. I’d just left the fashion industry where I’d worked for 25 years and was taking a huge leap into writing poetry. No-one knew who I was in the poetry world, I wasn’t even sure who I was as a writer but, all of a sudden, I had a collection coming out, in the middle of Lockdown. I began panicking, trying to figure out how to promote my work.

What did you decide to do?

I looked on the internet to see if there was a way to get my name and work out to people. I decided a podcast might be a good idea but I had no idea how to do it. Following a sleepless night, I recorded the first episode, found a site, Anchor, to host that podcast. It was just me, reading my poetry and short stories. It was only later that I thought, what do I do for episode 2?

I didn’t know many poets so I contacted Mark Davidson, at Hedgehog Poetry Press who was publishing my collection and asked if there were any poets who would want to be part of the podcast. I wanted to attract poets, like myself, who had books coming out and nowhere to read them. He gave me some names, one of which was Gaynor Kane, a poet from Belfast in Northern Ireland, and with that, Gaynor was my first guest on the 2nd episode.

At the same time, I’d been interviewing poets for my blog so I’d ask them if they wanted to share their work on the podcast.

You have managed to build quite a portfolio of people who have been on the podcast?

I still find it funny to think that people are actually listening. Usually, I think it is just me and the odd family member or friend tuning in.

I was so surprised, at first, that people have agreed to take part, although these days I have people come up to me at events, asking me if they can send me their material. It’s an incredible honour.

Does someone need to have a collection or be published to be on the “Eat the Storms” podcast?

No, my objective was always to create a platform for writers, regardless of their track record. I know what it feels like to be on the outside, wondering how to get in, so as far as I’m concerned, if you have a collection or just a bunch of scribbles under your bed, “Eat the Storms” is the place for you.

Did the audience grow quite quickly?

I think people were a little wary at the beginning, not sure if it was for them or if it had longevity but, as more and more joined in, turning it into a truly international platform, the reputation has grown and now I’ve had to develop a, very minimal, submission process.

All it really involves is asking writers to introduce themselves and their work to me first. I still want “Eat the Storms” to be available to anyone who writes poetry and wants a place to share their voice.

See more of Damien B Donnelly’s work at the following link –

artist forms link
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