Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes things capture my heart, like someone being truly brave or a place that is interesting or beautiful. At other times, my imagination is captured. Cochlear Implant is an example of a poem where I was startled by how a simple discovery changed the lives of millions. I often drive past this bus. It has such character and I love the way someone has set it up and created a bus stop and person beside it. This bus deserves to be in a poem.

How does your work as a funeral director affect your writing?

Sometimes I am really moved to sorrow or amazement or humour by things that happen in my work and eventually a poem will form. I also write a lot of talks as I’m often invited to speak about dying either as a guest speaker or an educator. Sometimes I use the poems as a ‘way in’ to talk about various aspects of death.

Do you suffer from writer’s block?

Almost the opposite. My head is bursting with ideas but until now, I’ve always struggled to get time to write. For me it is really important to have switch off time so I’ll go to a gallery or the beach or a walk around the block or in a beautiful place to clear my head. But procrastination….that is another thing.

“You make the world stop with your words, holding key moments and emotions … connecting the whirlwind story to a bigger reality … And, your wicked sense of humour!”

– Erica Nathan –