“For me, the journey towards self-acceptance and accepting my sexuality was a long and complicated one. I use writing to help me unpack all of that. I want to continue to tell bi stories in the future, and talk about pride too!“
This month’s featured poet is Louise Clare Dalton. A finalist in the Roundhouse Poetry Slam 19, her spoken word poetry is deeply rooted in introspection, often exploring uncomfortable topics in order to confront herself and the world. At the centre of her work is introspection and understanding how societal pressure affects human behaviour.
About ‘What They Told You’
My experiences as a teenager shaped the relationship I had with my sexuality for a long time. I wrote this poem to unpack a specific experience, in order to move on and continue the journey towards loving myself completely. Looking at the internalised homophobia I carried from my school years for such a long time was a huge step forward in accepting and celebrating my sexuality. Writing it down takes away its power, and gives the power back to me.
What inspires you most as a poet?
I find nature really inspiring – the way everything connects and is constantly moving. I grew up in a rural area and I still draw a lot of inspiration from that!
Why do you write?
Writing has helped me process moments of trauma, pain and heartbreak. It gives me a space to respond to the world and find the light and joy in it too.
Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
I started out writing songs when I was about fifteen, but I never shared them – the first one was about a fox! I started writing poetry much later.
Why performance poetry rather than written?
I love the way you can play with the poem each time, pull apart the rhythms, etc. – I just love to mess around with stuff! Most importantly though, when you perform, you’re in conversation with the audience for those five minutes. That moment when you feel them in it with you – that’s special for me.
Where do you do your best thinking?
In my bedroom! I usually plug in some Arctic Monkeys and dance around like a fool for a bit, then sit down to write. After that I just like to have a bit of quiet and some coffee.
What poets inspire you?
Dizraeli, Tanaka Fuego, Debris Stevenson, Rakaya Fetuga, Kae Tempest, and loads of others. My first inspo was Bob Dylan.
How does being bi impact your work?
For me, the journey towards self-acceptance and accepting my sexuality was a long and complicated one. I use writing to help me unpack all of that. I want to continue to tell bi stories in the future, and talk about pride too!
Check out more of Louise Clare Dalton‘s work.
Read her Women Like Us Blog: At What Point Do I Qualify? My Bi Experience
Find more poetry by incredible LGBTQ+ Women Like Us
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