Interview

Hello Poetry Lovers

Welcome back to our talk show, (thunderous applause, security stirs uneasily)

and today we have the lovely Carla Scarano

(Thunderous applause as Carla glides down the lighted stairs)

Welcome to the show, Carla. So lovely to have you on here. I really dig that leather catsuit – very Julie Newmar.

Now tell us a bit about your background

I am Italian and moved to England with my family in 2007. Food and family relationships are very important to me and interweave in my daily life. Preparing good food and cherishing family connections shaped my personality and make my identity. In Italy, I was an English teacher, and in England I became an Italian teacher.

English and Italian language, cultures and literature mingle in my everyday life and my readings. I write in English though Italian inspires my work too.

Those are wonderful and personal things to celebrate, Carla. They’ve made you the talented writer that you are.

When did poetry become a part of your life?

I started to write poetry a few years ago before moving to England, attending American classes online. When I moved to Lancaster, I joined workshops at the Adult college and readings in pubs and at the Storey. On Friday night we used to meet for the Spotlight event organised by Sarah Fiske and Ron Baker. There was always a featured poet or prose writer, music and open mic sessions.

Writing became very important as it gave me the possibility to communicate what I felt and to connect with people I liked. In Lancaster I met two important poets who supported me, Sarah Hymas and Elizabeth Burns. Sadly Elizabeth died just before I moved to Surrey in 2015 but I’m still in contact with Sarah.

In Lancaster I attended the MA in creative writing and decided to self-publish my first pamphlet, A Winding Road in 2011.

When I moved to Surrey, I started to attend the stanza group and joined the Woking Writers Circle as well as Write Out Loud, 1000 Monkeys and now Poetry Performance at the Adelaide. I met many poets and writers, enjoying every moment of this new poetry journey. I also started to write reviews of poetry collections and art exhibitions that are regularly published in online magazines.

Reading renowned and less known poets has expanded my understandings and inspired more poetry and form new contacts.

Fascinating, Carla. I am with your impressive journey all the way. These journeys really shape us as poets.

Who are your favourite poets?

My favourite poets are well known names such as Coleridge, Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams and contemporary poets are Hannah Lowe, Fiona Benson, Elizabeth Burns, Helen Mort and others.

Last year I completed a PhD on Margaret Atwood’s work at Reading University. Margaret Atwood is my hero and the best writer ever. She has written poetry, fiction and non-fiction, reviews and essays; she’s published about sixty texts in all, amazing!

I’ll second that, Carla. Great choices. I also love Hannah Lowe, I saw her recently at the Coronet.

So tell me, how did Negotiating Caponata come about?

I wrote a lot of poems about food and family relationships, and read them at open mics. Janice and Donall from Dempsey & Windle publishing suggested I publish my poems centred on food.

At the time I also had a sequence on my father’s death (he died in 2016 of pancreatic cancer less than a month after the diagnosis) and more poems about my family. They liked them so much that they decided to publish a short collection of my work in 2020. I was so excited and happy. The launch was online because of COVID and there were about fifty people attending the launch from the UK, Italy, Canada and Australia. It was wonderful.

That’s amazing, Carla. What a proud moment. One you will never forget. And what is your personal favourite from this collection?

My favourite part of the book is about my father’s death, I tried to communicate his pain and my affection for him, though our relationship was not easy.

So moving, Carla. That wrench of separation always stays with us. I would say my own favourite was Special Carbonara. You weave so many emotions with this dish, and I have vivid memories of carbonara. Food is so so personal.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am writing poetry regularly prompted by workshops I attend online with Second Light and Tears in the Fence. I read a lot of poetry, and that has become central in my practise and study.

I am currently working on a new collection Workwear that I hope to publish at the end of 2022. I am also carrying on with my research and studies on Margaret Atwood’s work. I write and publish articles on her work, and attend conferences.

(Huge applause from the audience)

So Carla, the last loaded question; What’s the best poetry gig you’ve ever done, and the worst…?

There is not a best or a worst gig. I usually enjoy all the poetry readings. I especially like the atmosphere of poetry gigs and I love this feeling of diversity and inclusion.

I’m very active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I post what I do daily, my impressions, opinions, readings, pictures I take that move me. I enjoy being in constant communication with people. We share what we love and above all, we stay creative which keeps us alive and lively.

It’s more the process, the relationships and connections we establish that I enjoy, rather than the product, that is, the poems I eventually complete, though the two things go hand in hand.

So, poetry is important, but people more so, and poetry helps me connect with them. A fantastic opportunity!

Gosh Carla, what lovely and profound answers, I could talk to you all day.

Let’s have a round of applause for the talented and innovative Carla Scarano!

( Loud thunderous applause)

Now, you must be going on somewhere groovy…

I’m going home to rehearse for being featured poet for Poetry Performance online on 17th June

Oh yes, I wouldn’t miss that for the world! Put that in your diary, everyone, and watch this great poet read. 17th June from 7.15 till 9.15. Message me if you want to tune in or have a reading spot.

Thanks once again, Carla, for coming on the show, it’s been a real privilege.

(Carla elegantly leaves the building during ecstatic applause)

Thank you for tuning in, PL’s. Wasn’t Carla a wonderful guest and great talent?!

Tune in real soon for more poetry shenanigans…

6 thoughts on “Interview

  1. Wonderful opportunity to get to know Carla better – great range of interests and achievements- plus I thoroughly agree with the comments on the benefits of poetry . Thanks for sharing Heather 💐💐💐

    Liked by 1 person

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