With charming candidness, Lyndsay Price uses poetry to make sense of her experiences.
When did you first start writing poetry?
I’ve written poetry pretty much since I could hold a pen, but I only really took it seriously once I left university. I was living in Birmingham at the time and had a theatre company called Tiny Lion. It was while working there that I realised it was something I wanted to pursue further. I moved back to Liverpool shortly after and really gave everything I had to writing and performing poetry.
How would you describe your poetic / writing style?
My work reflects my personality. I’d rather speak on topics that are heartbreakingly honest, or even silly, as I feel like this level of candidness is where the good stuff lies. I’m a big fan of trying to get people to embrace their emotions, and poetry is really how I channel that. I also think accessibility is important, so I like to try and keep my writing quite conversational and easily digestible as opposed to anything too stylised.
What are your main influences when it comes to writing poetry?
As a queer woman especially, I find poetry a really helpful tool to navigate this current climate. Most of what I write is in relation to something that’s happened to me.
I also find music influences me greatly, as well as art, theatre, even being in a coffee shop or overhearing a conversation on the bus.
Are there any artists or other poets who inspire you?
My tastes shift a lot, I’m lucky enough to come across a lot of artists – I think that’s the perk of hosting a poetry night. Some artists I love currently are: Sam Sax, Joelle Taylor and Warsan Shire. I also love musicians like Loyle Carner and Jorja Smith for their lyrics.
You used to run Rhymes & Records, can you tell us a little bit about this experience?
Rhymes & Records was a monthly poetry night that ran for two and a half years out of the basement of The Jacaranda. I will say that the sense of community that emerged during those years was really special. I have nothing but beautiful memories and would love to return to the basement of the Jac to hear poets over a mic any time!
How does hosting at A Lovely Word differ from running this event?
One thing that differs is that A Lovely Word is run by a team of people with different skills. When I was running Rhymes & Records, it was a one-woman show which led to a lot of feelings of responsibility. I’ve since come to appreciate the support that a team can bring, we’re able to achieve a little more on a broader scale than what I was able to on my own.
You’ve performed at many spoken word events over the years, is there a stand out moment within these performances for you? (Or a couple?)
My favourite performance in the last year was The Wordsmith, which is run by Katie Nicholas. I was on stage with a musician named Thom Morecroft. When I came to perform my final poem, I asked Thom if he wanted to improvise some music to go alongside my words. I think just the magic of it being live, paired with the vulnerability of the piece, seemed to really captivate an audience.
How does writing and performing poetry make you feel?
To me, it feels very necessary. When I’m performing on stage and I feel a connection to an audience, it feels very cathartic. I’ve always said that I think it’s important for us to hear stories from people who have had different experiences to our own, and I think the reason I continue is because I still have things to say.
Have you noticed any significant changes during your poetic career so far?
I think as I’ve progressed, the quality of my writing especially has really improved. When I was younger, I was so hungry for it, but I didn’t necessarily have all the skills, or even the life experience backing me up. I have a lot of faith in myself now.
Do you have any goals for the future?
I want to create an album of spoken word poetry. I recently released a short EP and had so much fun doing it. I love collaboration, and most of the really fun experiences I’ve had in the past have stemmed from others approaching me with ideas.
Are there any changes you’d like to see implemented into the poetry scene?
I think as Covid-19 has entered all of our lives in some way or another, organisers have had to get creative when it comes to events and engagement. I feel the shift to Zoom and online events has been really beneficial for those with disabilities especially. I would hate for those people to get left behind as organisers move toward more in-person events when they can take place again.
Why is poetry important to you?
For many of us, it’s our tool to navigate the world and to build compassion towards others. I think most people in this world just want to be understood a little deeper and, for some, poetry is a way to achieve that. There’s a reason why a bunch of adults drag themselves out of their houses to gather in bars and coffee shops and listen to poetry (even in the depths of winter). It’s because they feel it adds value to their lives.