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‘It’s not a conscious writing process’

  • Published at 08:12 pm November 20th, 2017
‘It’s not a conscious writing process’


Sophia Walker is a BBC Slam Champion spoken word poet. She represents the UK for the World Queer Slam and also works as a teaching artist. She was a panelist in a session on poetry and activism on Thursday, November 16 and performed her poems in another panel on Friday, November 17. 

Have you been enjoying it at the DLF? 

It’s incredibly exciting. I think when you are working with poetry, getting exposed to other languages is a different kind of excitement because the rhythms and syllables in Bengali are much quicker than in English, so I can’t wait to hear the poetry. I am really excited about how it’s going to be. 

As a performance poet, or spoken word poet, what process do you go through when writing a poem? 

I’m not sure if I go through a process. I sort of feel like Freud because all of my poems hit me instantaneously. They take a maximum of 10 minutes to write. It’s not a conscious writing process. It just comes out. 

Tell us about your book, Opposite the Tourbus. 

I wanted to publish an album. I think that spoken word is not yet published successfully. The front cover of the book is a reference to Bob Dylan and the back cover of the book is a reference to the Sex Pistols. 

Tell us about your spoken word shows. 

I wrote a show called Around The World in Eight Mistakes, which is a true story that takes you from the USSR all the way to present-day London, via Washington DC, North Vietnam and the Ugandan war, asking what is home and how you get there. It did surprisingly well. 

What projects are you working on now and what’s coming next? 

I am working on a new show. I’ve just found an organisation called Spoken Word Theater Foundation with some partner in Nigeria and some partners in Malaysia. And we are putting spoken word artists around the world together. 

Notebook or online? How do you get started when writing? 

It has to be pen and notebook. Oddly I can’t write indoors and also, in the UK it rains all the time. So it’s quite challenging to write outside. A few years ago, a friend of mine brought me a waterproof notebook and now I can write in the rain.