Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Life of a Poet - Susannah Bec

In our latest edition of The Life of a Poet we would like to introduce you to Susannah Bec. She is the amazing poet responsible for the blog “Out of My Ocean”. Susannah was one of the very first folks to actually throw caution to the wind and accept the concept and community of Poets United and for that we are forever grateful.

Susannah lives in a small village in the middle of the beautiful rolling English countryside with her partner and their three cats. When asked what was the reason she named her blog “Out of My Ocean” she referred back to the main header of her site. “I think the best way to explain the name is to repeat what is written on my blog about it. “ "Words bubble up from the depths of that big subconscious ocean, the vast churning sea that lies beneath the realm of conscious thought. They float on the swells and are rocked by the rhythm of the ever moving waters, until finally they reach the shallows and ride the surf to my shoreline. I find them washed up amongst the flotsam and jetsam, I write them down and store them here . . ." I think she covered that question quite well don’t you?

We asked her what she considered unique or important in life and Susannah responded with some very wise words. “Well obviously my loved ones and pets are important to me and also creativity, nature and the relationship I have with myself, my journey so far has very much been an inner one. I think you have to get your relationship to yourself right first.” Susannah has a wonderful worldly approach to her poetry and seemingly to all those around her as we come to realize throughout our interview.

PU: Why do you write poetry and how long have you been writing? Who is your biggest supporter?
SB: I write poetry as it seems to be a natural response to my feelings. I fell in love with poetry at an early age, this explains why but I only started writing avidly when I was about 24 (about a year after my Dad died) I had a drug experience that seemed to open up some gateways and the words just kept coming

After a few years, writing was replaced by painting and other forms of creativity and I would only write once in a blue moon when the urge arose, almost like a sneeze, I couldn't stop it! I would just have the first line appear in my head and quickly fumble for paper and pen and out it would tumble fully formed.

Then about a year ago the urge came around again and once again I started to write.

Who is my biggest supporter? - Hmmm, me, I suppose. :-)

PU: What style of poem do you write the most? What do you find the most difficult about writing poetry?
SB: I don't really know what style I write, it is just a pouring of me onto the page, It isn't something my mind is involved with, in fact I just get out of the way and let it happen. I don't really find anything difficult about it. When it flows, it flows, when it doesn't I don't write.

PU: I have found that my life and moods play a huge role in my writing. When I’m happy, I am too busy to write and when I’m sad or lonely I tend to write much more. I have made it a point to change that in my life and write more often when happy because it makes for better memories. When do you write? Are you a better writer when you are happy, sad, or lonely?
SB: I write when there is a feeling that needs to be expressed, back long ago when I first started writing there was more sadness and confusion in my writing and my world, these days it is more of a mix. I also like to write about a variety of things which is why I have so many blogs! So I can find homes for all the different things I want to say.

PU: What poem, written by you, do you like the most and why?
SB: That is a tricky one. As I didn't know what to pick I closed my eyes and randomly picked one from the list on my blog. This was the one I clicked on:

Waking dreams
t r i c k l e
down my spine
I shiver in anticipation
as the light grows around me

It makes no sense
my intellect can not hold
this slippery thing that slides
away from my grasping mind.

My heart welcomes the onslaught
open - willing - filled to the brim

my cup
o v e r f l o w s

and I spill myself

soaking into the rich red earth

I water the seeds
scattered so long ago.

One by one
tiny green shoots
break the ground around my feet
quickly spiralling upward toward the encompassing light.

~ Susanna Bec                                

PU: Do you have a favorite poet? If so who are they? What is your favorite poem by them?
SB: Actually, I don't think I do have just one favourite poet. There have been so many wonderful things written I couldn't choose just one.

PU: Have you ever been published? Do you write with hopes of being published one day or is your writing just an expression or hobby for you?

SB: Yes, I have been published a couple of times, most recently last year when my poem Trust was included in the Llewellyn's 2010 Witches' Companion.

PU: If you had a pet Giraffe what would you name he or she and where would you keep it?
SB: I would call it Giraffe and I would keep it with all the other Giraffes in its wild but safe habitat. . .of course it would come when I called it and I could stroke its lovely ears and kiss it on top of the head, and feed it succulent leaves from my comfortable balcony on the top of the double decker bus that I would visit it in. :-)

PU: What poets in the poetry blogosphere do you like and read the most? (Please no more than 3, I would like to link them here for our readers to explore, they do not have to be Poets United poets and please do not pick me, not meant to be egotistical, it’s more of a way to discover other great poets)
SB: I love SO many writers that I have found online that it is going to be a real job for me to only pick three! So I will pick people that I haven't seen here at Poets United.

First - Wordcurious by Alistair McNaught – he doesn't post very often but I really enjoy his work.

Second - I really love the prose over at Singing in Secret

Third – Dallas Clayton, I always enjoy reading his writing.

PU: What other talents do you have? Poets are often creative on many different levels, when you are not writing what other hobbies or creative things do you do?
SB: I make images, sometimes with paint and mixed media, sometimes digitally. In my time I have tried most creative things, I believe creativity is an energy that you can tap into and once you can do that, then it is up to you where you channel it!

PU: Everyone has their favorites quotes they live by or repeat, mine is “He who Laughs…Lasts” ~ Mary Pettitbone Poole. What quote do you use often or live by.
SB: Oooh, I love quotes! In fact I tweet them regularly on twitter (my name is @joyfrequencies)
If I had to pick just one quote it would be -

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for”.
~ John Lubbock

Poets United is grateful to Susannah Bec for allowing us the opportunity to chat with her. We want to thank her for humoring us and answering all our probing questions. It is poets like her, who are willing to share with the community, that make our site such a success. If you want to learn more about Susannah or if you feel drawn to reading more of her poetry please make sure to visit “Out of My Ocean”. You are sure to enjoy every corner of her poetry blog and will return often after that first visit.

There is much more to a poet than just their poetry. The folks that live behind the pen can be some of the most interesting people around. We look forward to giving our readers an intimate and personal look at some of the other poets found here at Poets United in future, so be sure to return to Poets United each week to see who we chat with next. Who knows it may be you that we talk to next.


  1. I loved reading this interview and I've certainly enjoyed reading Susannah's poetry. What an interesting bit of insight into Susannah's life and work! Susannah: thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more.

  2. Susannah's poetry has been a joy to read, and I look forward to reading more and more. :-)

  3. Thanks for this! I always enjoy Susannah's blog and I think it's great what you all are doing here at Poets United. Community is important!

  4. Robin, Carrie and be not blind, thanks very much for reading and for your kind words, they are much appreciated. :-)

    Robert thanks very much for including me here and for all the work you are doing for Poets United.

  5. susannah inspires me! thank you for creating a community for "the little guy" poets where we can all participate and shine!

  6. Yes, it is good to stumble upon the great hidden jems of this community...enjoy your work Susannah.

  7. Susannah, I really enjoyed stumbling on this interview. Congratulations. You often inspire me both visually and verbally and I'm glad that others will get to know the person behind the words and images. Glad to read a bit more about you and thanks Robert, for giving all of us this space to get to know one another,


  8. Templeton's Fury, Dasuntoucha and Elizabeth.

    I have only just revisited here and found your comments, they are much appreciated.

    Thank you so much all of you. x :-)


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