“Sweat and Patience Always Constitute the Writer’s Best Weapons” – Interview with Brigitte Poirson
Multiple award-winning poet and writer.
KD: You seem to be very interested and involved in African (particularly Nigerian) poetry. Where does this interest stem from?
KD: Are there any literary figures/poets that inspire you?
KD: What do you think about the state of poetry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole? Are there enough opportunities and recognition for aspiring poets in Nigeria/Africa?
“In consistence with what I mentioned before, allow me to state that we reinvent ourselves with every word we write.” – Brigitte Poirson
Brigitte Poirson (center)
In a recent gathering of a literary salon, Les Plumes Comtoises, held in France
KD: What is your writing routine like? Do your poems have a unifying theme or do you write based on matters of the moment?
KD: You host or promote many different poetry contests for Nigerian/African poets regularly. What is the overall vision with that?
KD: Any forthcoming books at this time?
Poirson: I have a forthcoming novel in store. It has been longing to be published for ages. It just needs a bit of editing after all this time. I just hope to be able to find a few moments to do it! I have a publisher for it. So, I look forward to adding that nice gloss it is lacking today. It is a French novel, by the way. I also have a few English short stories waiting to be published.
KD: Any advice for aspiring poets in Nigeria?
Poirson: Aspiring poets know they must strive to find their own style. They know they are expected to stand out among the writing crowd, if they are to be noticed. But it is my belief that finding one’s style cannot be a forced process. It must come from reading others and sweating over one’s own work, and naturally from delving into one’s deepest experience. Aspiring authors, during this quest to the Graal, sometimes tend to align big, learned words. Fine. But accuracy in the choice of words and economy of words and simplicity also work very well when your point is forceful. They also tend to have recourse to tricks supposed to be inventive, like making endless sentences in which they and we may get lost, deleting punctuation, which may be very misleading for the reader, or creating jarring images, all in the name of poetic licence. Poetic licence cannot be invoked to justify [your work if] you don’t master the language. It is my conviction that authors must know where they lead their readers, even in poetry. Letting the readers find a meaning to your texts sounds to me like a justification for not really knowing what you mean. Forgetting to systematically self-edit texts is also a common weakness. But these are only beginners’ issues. Most of the poets I happen to read master the language with incredible creativity and pleasant inventiveness.
KD: What do you think about Kreative Diadem?
KD: Any Final words?