Write On! interviews poet Bella Cox
An internationally acclaimed artist, Bella Cox is a poet, performer, workshop facilitator, MC, and event producer who has worked in Kenya, South Africa and around the UK. She is a three-time Barbican Young Poets alumna, a twice-nominated young people’s laureate for London, and was a member of multiple poetry collectives throughout 2018. She has performed her work at events such as TEDx Pretoria, Sköll World Forum, Brighton Literature Festival, Bi Pride UK, and Brainchild festival and has been commissioned to write for institutions such as HSBC, Time Out London, Bach Remedies and Nationwide Building Society. Her proudly queer and feminist work seeks to embrace differences, empower young people, and explore her own identity. She currently fits writing time around her Marketing Manager role and is working on her debut poetry collection, set to release at the end of 2022.
WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?
BC: Recently a lot of my work has centred around loss and the self-discovery that comes from loss. I try always to create content that offers truth, and that depicts the world not only as it is, but also as it could be, and my writing is quite explorative in form and format in that I enjoy testing out various frameworks for the stories I want to tell.
WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book?
BC: I’m currently working on my debut poetry collection, to be published with Flipped Eye towards the end of 2022. The collection is, as yet, untitled, but I very much look forward to sharing it once it’s out. Stay tuned!
WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?
BC: I have always found comfort in speaking to myself through the page. When I was younger, I wrote a lot of songs and poems about relationships I found difficult to navigate as, I think, a form of self-therapy. But I first began ‘officially’ writing and performing poetry when I went to an open mic night while at university and watched two poets who truly impressed and inspired me. I wanted to perform like them! Now, what inspires me are all the little pieces that make up our day-to-day lives, and all the ways we find to survive our many small and great losses.
WO: The current issue of Write On! explores the theme ‘Worlds Apart’. With that in mind, do you find yourself drawn towards writing about the world you know intimately or do you strive to discover a world unknown?
BC: At the moment, I’m very much focused on expressing my own inner world; what makes me who I am; both alone and in relation to others. The pandemic lockdowns gave us all a lot of time for self-reflection, self-analysation and self-development and so a lot of my current works speak to that.
WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?
BC: It all takes longer than you think. Allow yourself the time and space you need to develop and master your craft.
WO: Question from Twitter user: @madeleinefwhite: What do you do when you can’t get energised to write?
BC: I read. Or I find an open mic to attend. Or I watch other poets on YouTube. I find that I need to be fully ensconced in the art form to remind myself that I love doing it too. But don’t get me wrong; not feeling energised to write happens more often than I’d like to admit! It’s common to resist what we love, and it’s important to push against that resistance.
WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?
BC: My debut poetry collection is coming out towards the end of 2022! Follow me on Instagram @BellaCoxPoet to find out exactly when.
WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?
BC: Ooh. I think I’d really enjoy having a Daemon from the His Dark Materials trilogy. One that best suits me… and one that’s quite powerful. Maybe a tiger?
You can find out more about Bella here www.bellacox.com and connect with them on Instagram: @BellaCoxPoet, on Twitter: @BellaCox19 and on Facebook: @BellaCox. Her upcoming poetry collection will be available to buy from all major bookstores nationwide.
Each edition of our Write On! Audio podcast features an exclusive interview. Find us on all major podcast platforms, including Apple and Google Podcasts and Spotify. Type Pen to Print into your browser and look for our logo or find us on Anchor FM.
If you or someone you know has been affected by issues covered in our pages, please see the relevant link below for information, advice and support: https://pentoprint.org/about/advice-support/
It all takes longer than you think. Allow yourself the time and space you need to develop and master your craft.