Interview with Sophie Jackson on Spoken Word Poetry

Interview of Sophie Jackson by Freya Bennett

Hey Sophie, How are you?

Hi! I’m great thanks, I just finished my GCSE exams so it’s great to be finally relaxing.

How old are you?

I’m 16 and I’ll be turning 17 in October.

Where do you call home?

I call London my home, I’ve grown up here and I’ll always be in love with this place.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Well, I love spoken word! I’m also a big nerd for cartoons, stories, and podcasts. However I do like going to parties and seeing friends when I get the chance. (But I manage to get called an introvert quite often haha).

What got you into spoken word poetry?

My second eldest brother was the first person to introduce me to spoken word! It was almost two years ago when Matthew was studying creative writing at uni. He showed me Sara Kay’s Ted talk video of a spoken word called “Point B”, and from the first moment I watched that video I’ve been mesmerized by poetry ever since.

What inspired you to talk about the issues you do?

I have a lot of inspirations that make me want to write. But those videos in particular, probably from experience. The one called “Beautiful” is heavily inspired by topics that surround me in my everyday life as a girl (i.e. the pressure of being beautiful). The second one I actually wrote in my phone notes on the way back from a party; I started writing that straight after I felt as though I needed to cover up just so I could walk home safe that night.

Do you have a heroine?

My heroine is Sara Kay. She is the reason I even started knowing what spoken word was. The way she performs poetry is what I aspire to do.

Where do you hope to see yourself going with poetry?

I’m not too sure to be honest! I’d love to someday get on a Ted talk or any kind of stage for that matter. Also, it would be amazing if more young girls my age would be able to watch my videos and connect with what I’m saying. That is something that I dream to do, to connect.

Do you have any advice for girls wanting to pursue spoken word poetry?

I guess my best advice would be to write anything and everything. Don’t worry if it makes you feel uncomfortable, or if it’s out of your comfort zone, that’s good! If you are feeling emotions when you write, it means it contains emotion. Also don’t worry if it doesn’t seem good. Write for you before anyone else.

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Freya Bennett

Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who loves dreary grey days, libraries and coffee.
With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed media. Ramona Magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality, kindness and a little bit of feminist rage. You can follow her @thecinnamonsociety

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