The Featured Artist is a Laurier Brantford student who is constantly striving for creative and artistic excellence. The medium isn’t what’s important; it’s the art. This weeks Featured Artist is Charis Hesketh.
When did you begin writing poetry?
I started writing poetry when I was twelve years old. I watched the movie Camp Rock and I thought that writing songs was the cool thing to do, so for a long time I strictly wrote cheesy three minutes love songs. Then my teacher that year made us do a project where we had to make a book full of poems that we wrote. At that moment I started writing poetry and I haven’t stopped since.
Do you like to express yourself through any other artistic media?
I express myself through singing a lot. A song is basically poetry with music and I always found it so interesting how you can relate to a song, and when you do relate to it and you go up in front of people and you sing about your feelings it’s therapeutic.
How does poetry help you express yourself?
Growing up I never felt that my problems or my thoughts were important enough to talk about out loud. I thought that no one wanted to hear them so instead of talking about what was bothering me, I wrote. I wrote about my guy problems, my anxiety about the future, identity issues, grief, my friends, social justice issues or whenever I felt excluded. Poetry was the only way I could say the things I wanted to say out loud.
Which emotions do you find consistently in your work?
I think that my work expresses joy because at the end of the poem I always end up finding my way.
Has there ever been a time when writing poetry has brought you joy? When was this?
Writing poetry has brought me happiness multiple times in my life. Though the time that stands out to me was when I was twelve and I wrote a poem about becoming who I was and starting to not care about what people thought about me. I got to perform it in front of a group of people and I found that at that moment I really started to be myself.
How do the holidays affect your writing?
The holidays affect my writing because I have a break. My life throughout the school year is kind of boring so during the holidays I get to experience things, and the majority of poems are based off of my life so when I come back get to write about those experiences.
Who are some poets who have influenced you in the past?
Maya Angelou because she was someone who was so honest through her work.
How about now? How have these influences changed over the years?
Not really, I still look up to her because I like honesty, I like expressing myself through words and I think she did it the best.
I read your poem, “The Theatre of Life,” and I enjoyed how you set it up by separating it into acts. How does it feel to write a poem like that compared to something in a traditional format like a haiku or a sonnet?
Well when I was writing this poem I thought about what life was to me. In my head (mostly because I was a theatre kid) I think of life as a play, and so from there I thought of the stages or “acts” the graduates have gone through. I wanted it to be traditional at first but art is about breaking the rules a little bit. This poem would not have turned out the way it did if I didn’t step out of the norm.
What do you do when you get writer’s block?
To be honest I listen to music that sometimes helps inspires me. If that doesn’t help I go out and interact with people and sometimes just a simple conversation can spark something in me.
Any quick tips for the readers?
If you’re having writer’s block just put the pen down and go out. Talk to your friends, listen to some music, or read. When it comes it comes and sometimes it comes in the most random moments.
So you work with the Blueprint, care to share what your role was there?
Well I am writer for Blueprint magazine and basically what I do is whenever they are working on a new issue the editor just emails me the theme and I write a poem based on that.
What was your favourite experience while writing for them?
My favourite experience writing for them was when I was published for my first time, it was really exciting to know that my work was going to be read by people other than my teachers, friends, and parents.
If you could organize a poetry slam with four other poets, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
I would have Maya Angelou, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost because of their different styles of writing also I want to see how they bring their experiences to their poetry and see how different it is for each other. Plus, Edgar Allan Poe was weird and I think that will be awesome to see.