Pen To Print

Click "Enter" to submit the form.

Write On! Interviews: Poet S-BARS

Write On! interviews poet S-BARS

S-BARS (she/they) is a queer creative artist currently based in London, who is known for her relatable, raw and humoured performances. Their work reflects actual life experiences around the themes of gender, grief and exploring life in your twenties.

They have steadily built a name for themselves over the past few years, catering to all audiences and have become a respected and relevant artist in the scene. Through their flow, lyricism and wordplay, they will take you on a journey, leaving  you wanting more.

Highlights include having connected/worked with the following: QUEER CIRCLE, Roundhouse, Hammer and Tongue Hackney, Soho Theatre and more. S-BARS currently has their work published on a Footbridge Gallery, has written for JOMBA Festival and has collaborated with illustrators on poetry and digital art pieces. Taking the poetry scene by storm, they’ve featured and headlined for many events: Groove Verse, Vagina Festival, Catford Pride and more. Recently, they featured at The Big Queer Poetry event, raising £7,085 for Stonewall housing!

WO: How would you describe your writing/work to someone new to it?

SB: My writing explores the honest thoughts, dialogue and experiences of a 23-year-old living in London. I write for myself and from my own adventures/difficulties in life. I often find beauty in the chaos and like to portray both humour and vulnerability in my work.

WO: Can you tell us a bit more about your latest work: Say It With Your Chest?

SB: Say It With Your Chest is a poem I wrote about the intersection of my gender identity and the impact of growing up while my mum had breast cancer. The idea for this poem was created in the difficult relationship I have with my own breasts and not knowing if,’I want them removed to reduce my risk, or if it’s just a gender thing’. It’s a thought I can’t answer yet, but I’m allowing space for me to talk about it and express my truth. This piece really means a lot to me and it can be found on my Instagram: @sbarks_ and later on in the year will be published in my first poetry book.

WO: What inspired you to write in the first place, and what inspires you now?

SB: I’ve been writing from a young age and have always enjoyed scribbling down poetry about relationships and the difficulties and joys of life. Writing was the first art form I fell in love with and it’s helped me so much. I would argue that poetry acts as a form of therapy. Did anyone else have that English teacher who was just amazing? I did, and she was very supportive of my passion for poetry.

Some of my biggest inspirations are Kae Tempest, Hollie McNish, Sarah Callaghan, George the Poet. The list goes on! My main inspiration now is the feel-good factor after writing/performing. That feeling inspires me to keep writing my truth.

WO: What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?

SB: KEEP GOING! Write for yourself and because of how it makes you feel. Be sure to take breaks and try not to force material. For creativity, writers need space, rest and time.

I recommend getting your work out there, such as submitting it to open calls and keeping an eye on Instagram. There are also great writing prompts for when you have writer’s block.

WO: Question from Twitter user: @Grasshopper2407 How did you get into open-mic poetry and were you nervous your first time performing?

SB: I remember one of my friends from back home signed me up for a slam poetry event in the local area. I had no idea what it was and had never performed my poetry for anyone before. Later that evening, I performed and won the slam! I couldn’t believe it. I was incredibly nervous but, looking back at my 18-year-old self, it’s really emotional and comforting to see how far I’ve come. I’m so grateful to my friend for making me get up on stage!

WO: Can you tell us anything about future events?

SB: I recently curated an event with the wonderful support from Pen To Print to celebrate LGBTQ+ history month in February. Additionally, I had a few events: Queer The Mic in Brighton (02/02/23) and Safe Word Poetry in London (22/02/23). Do keep an eye on my Instagram (sbarks_), for further updates. You can also purchase tickets and find out more information about my upcoming events and work.

WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional/animal/creature to be a pet if a companion, who would it be and why?

SB: One of my favourite movies is Labyrinth and ‘Dance Magic Dance’ is my favourite scene from the movie. Because of this, I would like to have one of the goblins as a companion, so we could have a dance and sing! I would love to re-create that scene just for fun!

You can find out more about S-BARS by following them on Instagram: @sbarks_.


Issue 15 of  Write On! magazine is available now. You can find it here. 

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​:

My main inspiration now is the feel-good factor after writing/performing. That feeling inspires me to keep writing my truth.