This week’s writer interview is with Del Carter! Del is a pre-medicine sophomore at the University of Florida pursuing a B.A. in Political Science. He talks about the women who have supported and inspired his writing, and the importance of leaving his words open to interpretation – a writing technique we particularly love at Peeking Cat!
Del (pictured left) with his girlfriend, Aubrey
When and why did you first start writing?
I first began writing poetry during my senior year of high school, and only because I was forced to do so for an assignment. Nonetheless, I found the assignment enjoyable and began to write poems for fun, to relieve stress, and to escape the world.
Who is most supportive about your writing?
Without a doubt, my girlfriend Aubrey is the most supportive of my writing. Once, I finish writing a poem, I almost always send it to her immediately. She typically replies something similar to “Wow, that’s so good babe!” (I mean she’s obligated to say it’s good, right?). Besides Aubrey, I am sure that my late grandmother would be incredibly supportive of my writing and would probably take the top spot if she were here today. Throughout my childhood and my adolescence she was my best friend, and in my mind and heart she still is today. I like to think that she’d be immensely proud of me if she were able to read my work, and a healthy amount of my work is inspired by her.
What do you enjoy writing, and what do you find yourself writing about most often?
I enjoy writing short poems that are either symbolic or can be applied to a multitude of situations. I typically write about broad truths or generalizations that can be used and manipulated by the reader if they put forth the effort. Whenever I show my girlfriend a new poem I’ve written, she usually asks “What’s it about?”; I always reply “What do you want it to be about?”. I want the large majority of my poems to be flexible enough to mold to a particular event or scenario that the reader has experienced or is experiencing. What my work means to me is not what it means to a reader, and what it means to another reader is most likely not what it means to myself or any other reader. Perhaps the reader can use the poem to realize something about their own life or their own struggles, and if I am able to do that, I’ve succeeded beyond measure. Overall, I strive to write poems with the ability to strike a personal connection with anyone who lets them: poems that will walk into your home, but only if you take the opportunity to open the door.
Where do you write? Do you have a writing space or a particular process/routine?
I write practically anywhere and everywhere, although I definitely prefer my writing space to be silent, wherever that may be. Oddly enough, I’ve come up with a number of poems while in the shower, after which I quickly have to finish up and get out so I can write the poem down before I forget the words.
What’s your favourite word?
This is a really tough one, and I’m not sure I’d say this word is actually my favourite, but since moving to the southern portion of the United States, I catch myself saying “y’all” (meaning you all) a lot more than I used to.
What do you find the most difficult or challenging about writing?
The most difficult thing about writing for me is ensuring that I write what I mean. I want the majority of my work to be as though my brain and my thoughts are literally on the paper, with the work being a direct look into my mind. Obviously, this task is easier said than done.
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 piece I’m most proud of writing is the poem “Here” featured in the March 2017 issue of the Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. “Here” does exactly everything I want a poem of mine to do. It is so broad, yet so deep, and can be used by the reader to mean an infinite amount of things. I’ve reread it so many times that you’d think I’d be sick of it by now, but I’m not.
What are your writing plans, goals or dreams for the future?
I plan to continue submitting poems to any literary magazine I can. Beyond that, I’m really not sure. I aim to go with the flow and see where it takes me. Hopefully it takes me somewhere good.
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