Poet Interview Series: Dezarae Ritchie
Today we chat to the up and coming poet Dezarae Ritchie from the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, USA. Dezarae has already published her own poetry collection called Ambiguity ( see links to her book at the end of the interview). Her poetry is a compilation of topics ranging from love and loss to philosophy and horror. Dezarae is inspired by Edgar Allen Poe and Kurt Cobain. Such a powerful source of inspiration can be witnessed in her beautiful pieces. Read the full interview to find out more about this promising new poet.
Where do you live and how does it influence your writing?
I live in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia. It’s a very rural, small town area. The beauty of nature is very creatively inspiring to me and also provides a peaceful and enlightening atmosphere to collect my thoughts.
When did you first become passionate about poetry and what attracted you to it?
I’ve written ever since I was a child but, I didn’t become serious about it until I was around 20 years old. My whole family has a love for poetry. My cousin actually read ‘Annabel Lee’ by Edgar Allan Poe to my mother while she was in labor with me. My mom continued to read Poe’s work to me as I grew up so, I’ve loved poetry literally my entire life.
What inspires you to write?
My two biggest inspirations are Edgar Allan Poe and Kurt Cobain. I absolutely love their imagery and the emotion they evoke in their work. I can sit back and listen to Nirvana and become so inspired that I have to immediately pause the song and go write a poem. I like discussing things that people consider to be rather “uncomfortable” subjects such as mortality or problems within our society. I’m also a devout Christian and a Feminist, both of which are very influential in my writing.
Do you publish your Poetry on other channels but Instagram?
Not currently but, I am in the process of starting a blog.
Who is your favorite Instapoet and why?
Sabina Laura is my absolute favorite Instapoet. Her work paints the most beautiful mental pictures and she really connects with the reader in a very personal and profound way.
Tell us a bit about your book.
My book is a compilation of poems ranging in topics from love and loss to philosophy and horror. Some of my work can be very obscure in its meaning, while other poems are very obvious. Considering it covers such an eclectic array of subject matter, I titled it ‘Ambiguity’.
Can you tell us a little about your writing process? How do you come up with poems and how do you edit them?
Honestly, a lot of my ideas and rhymes pop into my head right before I fall asleep at night. I then grab my phone and write it down so I don’t forget it and sometimes the rest of the poem just flows automatically. It’s kind of weird actually. Other times, I will write a few lines and later go back and add to them. If I have a particular subject I want to discuss in a poem, I try to come up with poignant rhymes and sort of weave them together to form one cohesive piece.
How many hours a day do you spend writing and what helps you to get into the writing mood?
I usually write at night because I’m nocturnal haha. When I’m working I generally spend around 5-8 hours. If I want to get into the writing mood, I will either write journal entries about anything that is on my mind or what has happened that day but, usually I just listen to music that inspires me.
And what’s the best moment you’ve had with your poetry so far?
So far my best moment has been releasing my first book. I’m so excited about it. I’ve wanted to do this book for years and have finally created a product I’m super proud of and excited for people to read and hopefully enjoy.
How do you respond to writer’s block or not knowing what to write?
When I experience writer’s block, I usually come up with random rhymes, even if they make no sense, and keep adjusting it and playing with it until I finally unlock something with poetic potential.
What are you working on next?
I currently have two works in the making. I am working on a sequel to ‘Ambiguity’ and hope to eventually make it a 3 book series. I am also working on a dramatic fiction novel set in 1992.
Where would you like to see yourself in three years time.
I would love to have released my novel (which I hope and pray will be successful) and be able to support myself financially through my writing.
What is your strategy you to grow your audience?
My strategy is to engage with them on social media and to create content that covers subjects that people really want to read about, discuss, and hopefully spark conversation amongst the audience.
What advice would you give young poets just starting out?
Don’t do what every other poet is doing. Always be yourself and be unique and authentic in your writing. Most of all, don’t give up, success takes time.
Do you think poetry has a greater purpose?
Absolutely. I think poetry can help change peoples’ attitudes and even their lives. I believe that poetry, as well as any art form, has the potential to change the world if created with conviction, love, and sincerity.
Follow Dezarae on social media here: