Hello Poetry Lovers
Thanks for joining us today as we have the wonderful and talented poet Hannah Stanislaus
(audience applauds ecstatically – host bangs a ruler on the desk) (There is silence)
Okay, gang, lets give a big hand for Hannah Stanislaus
(Standing ovation – security cut short their fag break and head on back inside)
Hello Hannah, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Now you have burst vibrantly on the poetry scene, and your work has been brilliant and tireless, so tell us a bit about your background…
Pleasure, Heather. I grew up in Tooting and my Mum was a single parent to all three of us. I have one sister and one brother.
I had a decent childhood and adult life, then at 27 I became a mum to my beautiful daughter, Lucy.
I have had ups and downs like everyone else, and in 2017, I became homeless after leaving my daughter’s dad. I had to start life all over again and here I am.
You’ve had a hard journey, Hannah, and one that’s now paid off.
When did poetry become a part of your life?
Wow! What a question! I wrote my first poem on 6th June 2020. The reason I remember that is because it was the day I gave up drugs. Six months previously I gave up alcohol.
Oh Hannah, how wonderful you remember your first poem being written. Even more wonderful is you gave up the things that hurt you. That’s really admirable.
Yes, and I started writing but I went for a career in politics. In May 2021, I was elected as a local Councillor into the same borough I walked in to homeless 4 years previously. I did 5 months and was bullied out of the role by the party I represented and in December 2021, I attended my first ever open mic night and I have not looked back!
That is so impressive, Hannah. You would have certainly got my vote.
I hear this about politics, the knives do come out. That’s rotten but they unwittingly steered you to a stronger medium. And I am so glad you went on that open mic…
.(audience shout up ’here! here!’)
Who are your biggest influences?
Wow, so many I can mention. You have Lemn Sissay and Maya Angelou who are like my poetry Gods. Their work is divine!
On the scene, there are many more, too many to name, but I love listening to and reading poetry.
There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. Every poet writes from their heart and head.
Photo by Hannah Stanislaus 2022
(Round of applause from the audience) That was so well said, Hannah. And you have a beautiful picture of Lemn there. I’m so envious of you sitting down with your hero. What a moment that must have been.
Now, tell us how your new collection Extremely Aggressive Uneducated & Rough came about.
I went to Paper Tiger Poetry at the Teahouse Theatre in Vauxhall, I performed there and in February of this year, I was invited to publish a book.
My publisher had said ”Who wants to do a book?” and I said “ME” and he said ”Okay”. I thought he was joking!
I signed a 5 year book deal with William Cornelius Harris, London Poetry Books and I took two months to choose the 30 poems in the debut anthology.
The title was brought about because someone on Facebook said that I was ’extremely aggressive’, ’uneducated’ and her husband said I was ’rough’. I thought what a bloody good book title! There you go!
What an extraordinary story! I don’t know what to feel about these ignorant people who called you those names because as you say, they inspired that amazing book title.
That’s very impressive about being published, you have been in the poetry world for such a short time. Yet, you’ve produced this stunning collection. You’ve really gone for it, and you’re an inspiration to us all. (Audience cheers)
Okay, we come to the ultimate question’ What is your best poetry gig so far, and then the worst?
No No No! What a question! Best gig is every time I get on stage and one person applauds!
Worst one was an open mic, which shall remain nameless, I was sitting around for 2 hours and then told to recite my poetry over music and there was no audience!! I never returned!
That’s because you were too good for them, Hannah. Absolutely their loss! And I thoroughly agree on the former.
So I believe you’re performing at the High Tide Festival in Twickenham on Sunday 17th July. Don’t miss this, everyone. A stunning and unique poet. Bless you for coming in and talking to us, Hannah.
To purchase Extremely Aggressive, Uneducated & Rough, go to http://www.londonpoets.com or purchase a copy from the lovely poet personally at the High Tide Festival. Look forward to seeing you all there.
Wasn’t Hannah just fabulous, PL’s?! A fascinating and insightful guest that you could talk to all day. Keep a lookout for this extraordinary poet.
Thanks for tuning in, Poetry Lovers, we’ll be back with more poetry action real soon…..