For 2012’s first edition of Two Poems, we bring you Anya Pearson. A co-founder of the poetry publication, Inc. Magazine, and a brilliant poet and writer, Anya is reshaping London’s literary scene. Today she reads one of her own poems and one by Felix Hodcroft.
I Told You I Was Ill
Baring Witness by Felix Hodcroft
Let’s start with your own piece. How did it come about?
It’s called I Told You I Was Ill and I wrote it about a year ago. I think I was getting a bit anxious because I constantly thought I was getting ill. So I took a step back and realised it was ripe for taking the piss out of myself a little bit. It’s a little ode to being a hypochondriac.
And you’ve paired it with the Felix Hodcroft piece. You mentioned the pairing came from the theme of mortality. How so?
I found out that Hodcroft used to be a probation officer in Manchester, I imagine he’s seen a lot of interesting stuff. His book is called Life after life after death and the first half is about life and the second is about death. I chose one from the life section, but it is still really about death. I find that his poems, especially this one, give a more positive attitude on mortality. It’s certainly saying, you know, we all have death coming, but let’s not think about that right now. So, I see it as a sort of answer to my poem.
You’re a co-founder of Inc. Magazine. How do you balance the two? Do you find yourself leaning more towards writing or the Inc. stuff?
I find that the more I coordinate Inc. the more I write. It’s inspiring to receive so many poetry pieces each day. The more I immerse myself in inc, the more I want to write and get involved in what people are doing, also the performative element of inc. really helps for the creativity too as I get to work towards performing my poetry. It gives a real focus.