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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

17 March 2021

On Being a Writer: A Conversation by Beth Phillips & Sam Morton

This month's blog theme is 'Being A Writer' in which writers from Mayflower Creative Writers are writing about their writerly process, who they are as a writer and what's shaped them as writers. Beth and Sam from the group have created a deep-dive podcast which dialogues on the nature of a writer in terms of process, influence, the necessities of collaboration, strategies and aspects of craft as well as the perceptions of artists. You can listen to this conversation here: https://soundcloud.com/mcw-854371942/on-being-a-writer-a-conversation-by-beth-phillips-sam-morton 

Beth Phillips is a poet, Barbican Young Poet alumni and founder of Lemon Curd, a literary magazine focusing on community and collaboration within the arts. Her work utilises the confessional voice whilst also exploring family, nostalgia and grief. She is currently working on a full length collection named 'finger painting'.

Sam Morton is a multidisciplinary screenwriter, director and audiomaker. His works specialises in telling surreal/off-kilter stories through the medium of film and radio. He has recently started working as a freelance filmmaker and is experimenting with ways of bringing his love of poetry into the film format.


0:00 - The perks of audio storytelling. Film vs Radio.

4:24 - Influences

7:17 - Does originality exist?

8:18 - Collaboration in the arts

9:16 - Beth’s origins in poetry. Collaborations/collectives in art.

11:26 - Why we love Mayflower

11:56 - Writing, Redrafting and Workshopping

13:45 - Revisting old work

14:08 - Starting a poem

15:48 - Autobiographical poetry

17:17 - The process of writing a script. Does structure matter?

20:54 - Creative Writing courses and the importance of trying different mediums

21:34 - Blending poetry and film

23:07 - Non-fiction and zines.

26:18 - Dreaminess and Subjectivity in film/poetry

27:27 - The Nitty-Gritty fundamentals of poetry

28:54 - Music, memory and writer’s playlists

30:19 - Finding time to write.

30:55 - Free writing/“assembling the fragments”.

31:57 - Beth’s favourite poem and the way it’s evolved over time.

32:55 - Do poems change as you change?
33:30 - POETRY READING: “lourdes by Beth Philips”

35:48 - The small stuff, fine-tuning, and how changing “I” to “you” changes everything

39:10 - ‘writing for the page’ vs ‘writing to be spoken’

40:19 - Writing art in response to other art

41:32 - QUICKFIRE QUESTION: Sam’s top 3 favourite films

42:41 - QUICKFIRE QUESTION: Beth’s top 3 favourite poetry collections

43:15 - “accessibility” in poetry

45:05 - Beth’s dream

46:23 - Sequencing poems

48:49 - Instagram and Social Media. How can it help the arts?

51:06 - Putting personal writing out into the world


Twin Peaks (tv show)

A Woman Under The Influence (film)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (film)

Imaginary Advice by Ross Sutherland (podcast)

The Dizziness of Freedom by Bad Betty Press (poetry)

They He She Period (zine)

Contraception Zine (zine)

The Night We Met by Lord Huron (song)

Lilo by Japanese House (song)

Its Such A Beautiful Day (animation)

Eraserhead (film)

Sunshine by Melissa Lee-Houghton (poetry)

Dogtooth by Fran Lock (poetry)

Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong (poetry)


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