Interview with Poet Denise Dowdell-Stent (Filigree Angels: A Miracle Awakens)

1) What is the theme of your poem?

The theme of my poem is not a construct that I like to impose on my reader. To me, poetry is an art form: fluid, ever changing, transforming… My poetry has no absolutes, no fixed tenets. That’s not to say that I don’t always have a theme in mind when I put pen to paper, but that what I write is personal and meaningful to me, and I want my readers to experience that same sense of significance and for my words to resonate with them; in order for that to occur, a poem must be open to individual interpretation and not become a theme that is imposed. So, my answer to your question is to urge the reader to ask of themselves: what does this poem mean to you?

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

All my poems are motivated by my emotional state – a need for self-expression, as a receptacle in which I can pour out my thoughts and feelings in a productive and cathartic way – creating an artistic and energetic flow. In this particular instance Filigree Angels carries a message of hope and rebirth – of new beginnings and burgeoning potential.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

Most of my life! I learnt to read and write at the age of two, and stories and poetry were a natural manifestation of my wild and limitless imagination. However, my poetry writing became much more of a conscious and deliberate practice at around sixteen years of age, as a way of navigating the turbulent seas of teenaged emotions!

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Only one person?! I think I would choose Mary Magdalene, as she was a powerful and erudite woman, but her true story was – quite literally – buried for millennia. During this time, she was much maligned by the Church, who greatly feared that Jesus thought so highly of her, giving her an equal place amongst his male disciples. For a woman to hold such a position of power – and worse – outshine and usurp the qualities of certain men – was unacceptable to those who wished to preserve and perpetuate, the patriarchal system within the Church. An apology was issued by the Church, millennia later, admitting that they had hidden the truth about Mary Magdalene – that her contributions to the gospel had been torn and buried within a wall – and that her tarnished reputation as a prostitute and one possessed by a demon, was a complete fallacy; one they had created to erase this fascinating woman from history, so far as they could. I would love to hear about her life and times with Jesus, what it was like being an educated, intelligent woman in a fiercely patriarchal society!

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

First and foremost, I wanted to hear my poem, spoken by someone who has oratorical experience – but more specifically – would be able to interpret and convey the emotional currents within my poem. As I mentioned earlier, my poems are open to interpretation, so I was curious to see how a professional actor would interpret such material. I have to say, I am incredibly impressed with the end result!

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes! I write Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. I am currently working on the final installment of my Eternal Trilogy. Do check out http://www.eternaluk.com for more information! I do also write scripts, short stories, and narrate too.

7) What is your passion in life?

My babies (human and furry!); my family and friends; communing with nature, reading and creating: in the form of words, artwork, cooking, sculpting – but particularly using my words to create new realities and a chance to escape this current reality, albeit for just a short time each day!

Watch the Poetry Reading:

Performed by Val Cole

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