My Tuesday guest this week is the lovely Vic Pickup who has come along to chat about her poetry, including her debut poetry collection, Lost & Found, published by the awesome Hedgehog Poetry Press. Without further ado, it’s over to Vic.
About my Poetry
My poems are born from the need to extract some great philosophical meaning from everything in life. Character flaws have played a part too, as I’m an overthinker and also a bit nosey, which I consider two attributes crucial to anyone considering being a writer.
I have always loved poetry – from discovering Michael Rosen at primary school, to dissecting the classics at secondary. I was blessed to have several teachers who had a passion for literature and the enthusiasm to make it contagious. I went on to study at Loughborough University, where I stayed to do an MA in Creative Writing. After that I worked for trade magazines and then became a freelance writer before stopping when I had my second child.
I returned to poetry in 2018 after a decade in which I produced little – largely because I was preoccupied with having children but also had a bit of a self-belief crash. A writer friend suggested we set up a creative writing group which caused me to reboot, and has led to a great many things, including the publication of my pamphlet Lost & Found from Hedgehog Press last year.
I write largely free-verse poems which are accessible and, I hope, relatable. They tend to pore over a small instance or thing, lending lessons learned to other areas of life. Lost & Found contains thirteen poems drawn together by two I wrote at the start of the pandemic, which focus upon things sacrificed and gained at this time, some personal and others applicable to many. I found I had an abundance of poetry focused upon this theme. Hence, a neat bundle emerged which portrayed a journey of sorts – moving through hardship and grief, but emerging with strength. I hope the content will resonate with readers and the ultimate aftertaste is one of gratitude and hope.
Ideas tend to hit me at random and if I don’t scribble them down on the back of a receipt or my hand then they are lost. My best work tends to just pour out and requires few alterations before I’m happy, others take a significant amount of editing over time. My process and style are changing all the time as I challenge myself more – I am enjoying exploring form in particular at the moment and seeing how poems work when held by a set structure.
For me, writing goes hand in hand with processing the stuff of life, understanding myself better and creative expression which is essential for well-being. Whether I churn out a bundle of nonsense which goes into the bin the next day or write something of publishable quality, poetry is of great value to me, as is the community which supports the genre as a whole.
About Vic Pickup
Vic Pickup is a previous winner of the Café Writers and Cupid’s Arrow Competitions, and shortlisted for the National Poetry Day #speakyourtruth prize on YouTube last year. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies, magazines and online, recently published by Mslexia, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Poetry Village and Reach Poetry. Lost & Found is Vic’s debut pamphlet, published by Hedgehog Poetry Press and featuring Pushcart-nominated poem ‘Social Distancing’. She is currently working on her first full collection
Where to buy Lost and Found