Interview with Chisom Irechukwu: Winner Getlit Naija 2018
Poetry is the canvas on which I paint my view of life. All my life I’ve written in order to make sense of things, of being here, of loving, and being loved, of the finality of death. I love art and writing poetry is the medium that comes easily for me.
Conversations about love and loss are definitely my sweet spot. I have a certain ability to feel the melancholy in every person and I love to sit and listen to people or observe people at social gatherings because I think it’s really beautiful how flawed we all are. I’m passionate about women and our stories and my writing tends to be reflective of that love.
My role models are my mom, my grandmother because their stories are closest to home but I also got introduced to feminism through reading Lola Soneyin, Buchi Emecheta, and listening to Chimamanda Adichie.
Poets for me would definitely be Titilope Sonuga, Safia Elhillo, Warsaw Shire and they have greatly influenced how I write and deliver my poems.I dream of meeting and working with these women and other women in the arts. I think most of my influences are female because I want to write for women and about all the colors of womanhood.
My favorite thing in this world is iced cream, food for me is pretty underwhelming but I do love a good salad.
I’m from ikeduru in imo state and I’m the first of four kids. I can be very non conformist but I think my family has come to accept that and I love that about them.
Getlitnaija is a great platform for poets and I’m grateful for the experience because it made me more confident in my skills and in the stories I wanted to tell through poetry.
Pet peeves. Liars. Manipulators. Hypocrites. People who look at the goodness of others as a weakness and feel they can prey on it.
Turn on is raw honesty. I’m quite the introvert so trust is very important to me in any relationship. I’m poor at communicating and keeping in touch and it takes a certain level of vulnerability and patience from the other party to make me feel safe enough to be truly naked. It helps if you are empathetic too.
I wrote “Nomad” a while back before the competition and it was born out of just a conversation with myself about how we are all so desperate to be made home of by others that we sometimes let the wrongest people into our lives. And at the end of the day you are yours, before you are anyone else’s.
I filmed it in one night. My brother and sister weren’t down for it at first but they obliged me and so I filmed it and edited it.
I like to think my poems are less about me and more from what I see and hear due to me being a wallflower who just wants to understand the madness of this world.