The Treasury Interviews: Kaitlyn interviews Jenny Powell

Kaitlyn is in Y5 and goes to the Remarkables School in Queenstown. She said she sometimes needs ideas for writing and gets stuck sometime.

Jenny Powell

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Jenny Powell is a poet, performance poet and creative-writing tutor. She takes part in the ‘Writers in Schools’ programme with the New Zealand Book Council. She has written a number of poetry collections and has poems for children in The School Journals. She lives in Dunedin.

 

The Interview

* Why did you want to start being an author?

I didn’t really make a decision to be an author. I started seriously writing poems when I was 12. This was when I began to have things I wanted to say, and the only way I could think of to do it was through poetry. Many years later my first book was published. I couldn’t stop writing by then.

* How do you get some more leads for writing?

I get them from things that happen to me or I think of a topic and pull ideas out of my imagination. Sometimes I give myself a technique to use and work that way. I’m always writing things down in my notebook that I see or hear or think.

* How many books or poems did you publish?

I’ve published five collections of poems and my sixth is due out in a few weeks. I’ve also worked with other poets on two more experimental collections of poems.

* What made you want to be a writer?

I didn’t think of myself as a writer for a long time. I do now. I have all of these ideas in my head to put into poems or kinds of plays. I couldn’t not write them. It’s what I do.

* Did you go in competitions?

I have entered competitions. The first one was when I was 9 or 10. I wrote a story for the Sunday newspaper and won a watch. In the last few years I’ve entered poetry competitions in the UK and have been short listed or a finalist. Maybe I was proving myself.

* Do you go to any schools and share your work?

I do go to schools. I enjoy it. I am a teacher so I think that helps.

Jenny Powell

 

Thanks for a great interview Kaitlyn and Jenny. Jenny has two poems in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children. One has a beautiful image and one has a drop of blood or two!

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