Writer Interview: Danielle Kirwan

English and Theatre Studies student Danielle Kirwan joins us this week to talk about using poetry to tackle important and controversial issues within society. Enjoy!

When and why did you first start writing?


I first started writing towards the end of my Leaving Certificate year. I had always had a huge interest in writing poetry. I admired greatly most of the poets on my secondary education curriculum, such as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Thomas Hardy. These poets and their work became very influential in my life. I always found myself relating to their major themes and motifs that they expressed throughout their work. This made me want to create pieces of my own.


Who is most supportive about your writing?


The most supportive person towards my writing would definitely be my boyfriend Ryan. He is an extremely supportive and encouraging person, especially when it comes to my poetry. He knows that I am very passionate when it comes to writing, and even though he is my best critic at times, he always has my back a 110% of the time.


What do you enjoy writing, and what do you find yourself writing about most often?


I mostly enjoy writing poetry because I love indulging in all the controversies of life and society. I tend to write about the much more dark subjects such as the abortion campaigns, and abuse. I also reflect a cultural context of twenty-first century Ireland in my works and highlight femininity.  


Where do you write? Do you have a writing space or a particular process/routine?


I love writing where I am surrounded by all sorts of inspiration, be it; in my room, where my window is open and I hear the neighbors laughing, or even on the bus on the way home from college, watching and creating a story to go with all the different personalities that get on and off the bus. My routine for writing poetry consists of many cups of tea and constantly re-writing and re-drafting. I never cross out anything during this process I only ever start a new page or new sentence, as the first few drafts are essential in order to create a successful and meaningful piece of work.


What’s your favourite word?


My favorite word would definitely be ‘ethereal’. This word appears again and again throughout my poems. It means or represents a delicate, heavenly almost spiritual vibe. I find that this word help creates an aura throughout my work, it gives my poems a sense of character and an in depth ambiance.


What do you find the most difficult or challenging about writing?


The most challenging thing I find about writing is writing descriptively. This is something I struggle with a lot. I find it hard to use such authentic language when writing such symbolic work. I tend to forget a lot of the time that I am writing a poem not an academic essay.


Tell me about the piece of work that you are most proud of writing, or about the writing accomplishment you are most proud of.


The poem I am most proud of writing is called ‘The Termination Of Two’. It is an 80 line poem, that tells the story of a young woman who falls pregnant due to being sexually abused by a priest, and soon decides to have an abortion to help save the priests reputation and the church’s. I am most proud of this poem as it reflects society culturally, socially and politically.


What are your writing plans, goals or dreams for the future?


My goal for the future is to pursue a career in writing. I am currently in the process of pitching some of my work to Andrews McMeel publishing in Kanas City in Missouri. I hope to enter some poetry competitions along the way.


“My name is Danielle Kirwan. I am 20 years old and studying English and Theatre Studies in Waterford Institute of Technology. I was born in Northampton and am currently living in Ireland in Kilkenny. At the moment I am working on a poetry portfolio for my creative writing module and from this i hope to achieve a future career in the writing field, and develop my experimental and transformative style of writing.”

Would you like to take part in an interview for the Peeking Cat blog? Email editor@peekingcatpoetry.co.uk

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