Let me introduce you to this week's Poet of Instagram Sarah Nilsen. She is a great writer who produces meaningful and heartfelt words. I really hope that you enjoy reading her interview and that you find her a poet you must follow!
Thank you for chatting with me about your poetry I am so glad that we get to talk! Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sarah Bethany Nilsen, and I have independently published two poetry books. My third book is yet in the works, but I hope to have the opportunity tell you more about it soon! I am a student living overseas in the European mid-Atlantic and am learning my second language (and attempting to write poetry in it.)
When did you start creating poetry? Tell us a little about your journey.
My first poems came about in the tender days before I could tell letters apart on a page, nonetheless convince my hands to form words on paper. My older sister wrote them down for me, and although they seem to make little sense now, my whole family and I could tell you every line by heart. Ever since those golden days, I have been in love with writing, poetry especially.
What is your style and why?
I have always gravitated towards themes of nature and the mode of free verse, for as long as I can remember. Free verse, to me, is the most natural flow of thinking and writing. Nature is so vast, so mysterious and so gorgeous that I can't imagine writing a single poem without some reference to the wonder I have for it, or its beauty. My goal is to keep developing my style into one that is delicate and gentle to read, pretty but filled with deeper meaning.
What inspires your poetry?
Inspiration comes from nearly every source for me, from the natural to the urban, the wild to the mundane, and from the comings and goings of my own heart, and of the ones I love.
1. Finding inspiration or waiting for it to strike
2. Coming up with a line I really like, or a phrase to base the poem off of
3. Writing, rearranging and erasing the words flowing to follow
4. Reading and re-reading, silently and out loud to smooth out rough spots
5. Sometimes rewriting, if the poem seems too plain or unnecessarily straightforward (theme dependent)
Why did you start your Instagram account?
I had been just getting back into writing poetry after a break, and wanted to find somewhere I could share my poetry and perspective.
Why is sharing your poetry special to you?
Sharing poetry is precious because feelings, beliefs, and experiences are not meant to be kept secrets. It is so special to me to be able to tell stories, describe moments and hopefully encourage others while doing what I love most!
What do you want people to take from your poetry?
This is a harder question than I thought it would be, because every poem is different. All in all, my deepest hope is that my poetry will help people see the beauty around them, and within them, and that they would have a desire to cherish it and care for one another, the world, and themselves.
The goal of my more personal poetry is to let readers they are not alone, especially if they have experienced similar challenges and emotions in their lives. I think it's important that people don't feel like they are on their own.
I completely agree with you. With that in mind, what are your top three favourite poems you have written and why?
Heart Beating, Renegade and Long Drive Home.
Yes. I have released an independently published book of poems on my birthday for the last two years, and I plan on continuing the tradition.
Wow, that is amazing! What plans do you have for the future in terms of your poetry?
As I before mentioned, I hope and plan to continue independently publishing books of poetry.
Just a little side note: You definitely get this feeling that some people are judging you if you self or independently publish. Some seem to assume that you have gone through all the effort to pump up your own ego and pat yourself on the back, or that you must be incredibly vain to think your work worthy of the presses. I think of the whole process completely differently however. A book is a gift, from the author to the reader. Simple as that. The writer does not give the gift because it is perfect, but because it is the very best he or she can offer, and it is a treasure to them because they have put time and effort into it. A reader who buys a book is giving a gift back to the writer, and therefore helps him or her have the means to produce another in the future. It is truly an intimate and beautiful relationship between the two, even if they never speak.
Thanks again for doing the interview with me. I feel like we have gotten a glimpce into your world! Good luck with publishing your book! If you want to follow Sarah and keep up to date on all her poetry follow her social accounts:
Instagram: poetry @sbnpoetry