April is the overall winner of the Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition in the secondary category. April is commended in the Poetry and Political Language Challenge on Young Poets Network, in partnership with the Orwell Youth Prize.
We asked April some questions about the inspiration behind ‘so you want to talk about the ap*calypse’ and her writing process.
What was the inspiration for your poem?/How did you approach thinking about political language in a creative way?
I took a break from Instagram earlier this year (like many people did) and when I came back, ‘social justice’ accounts were ubiquitous – but the most popular accounts by far had pretty layouts and graphics so people could fit incredibly serious topics into the theme of their Instagram profiles. It was sad, strange and desensitised all at once – like they were both trying to quantify the complexity of social justice and hold onto some shred of normalcy from the simple social media we used to know. I was thinking about the most mad and awful situation possible, and how they’d handle it.
What is your one tip to other young writers/poets?
Keep a note of things that come into your head during the day, or things you just find interesting- song lyrics, road signs, phrases, pictures, things people say. Record it all, and come back to it if you get stuck with a piece of poetry.
Which writer/s/poet/s most inspire you and why?
Alun Lewis and Leo Tolstoy. They both make the past seem very close, and the future something even we haven’t experienced yet. It feels very much this year like we are living as the last of our kind, so to reach back and see we’ve always felt the same is such a comfort – Lewis and Tolstoy bring people near each other like no other, and I would love to create a similar closeness with my writing.
What are you reading at the moment?
‘Time Without Clocks’ by Joan Lindsay.