We asked Mandi Poefficient, a performance poet in Johannesburg, about what drives her.
Poetry Potion: When did you start writing poetry and why?
Mandi Poefficient: I began writing poetry in matric, there was a piece I remember doing about my dad for English orals, and Ithought “oh gosh this is not bad, not bad at all”. My love for words drove me towards writing. I would literally just get a kick from finding the appropriate co-ordinates, rhyme scheme and all and that inspired me to write even more.
PP: When did you start sharing your poetry and how did you know you were ready to share?
MP: hehehheeh, are you ever ready though? I was part of a community theatre and in 2006 I started sharing. You know how theater is, just a community of all ARTISTIC disciplines and poetry was one of them, I tried it out. I wrote a piece for June 16, it was incredible until I fluffed it. We were performing outside library gardens and there wasn’t even an audience, but I fell flat on memory. I cried my ass off. My then mentor in arts, pushed me real hard “we have a play and we need a poem” became the story of my life in art.
PP: What inspired your poems, what do you write about?
MP: My life. The world I live in inspires me. I really get personal, from love to lust to living. I write about all the elements that remind me I’m human.
PP: Which do you prefer – writing for performance or for publication (print/page)?
MP: PERFORMANCE, I LOVE THE STAGE… oh my however I have come to learn that some poems belong on the page so one day when I publish people will encounter the unspoken side of me.
PP: Do you ever experience a writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
MP: It’s been a long time since words have escaped me. You need to surround yourself with your own kind and that’s what I’ve been doing to sustain the writer in me. I’m blessed with a poetry family that keeps me inspired.
PP: What are you working on now?
MP: I just performed at a Poetry arts show in P.T.A. It’s time to defend my title at Word n Sound on the 4th of Aug (follow the WnS blog to check if I retain my leading points in the wordnsound. Then after that I’m headed to Bloem for woman’s day performance on the 8th of Aug. Watch out for Arts aAlive, I can’t say much yet but I’ll be doing a collabo with some poetry geniuses
Mandi blogs at : http://mandipoefficient.wordpress.com
She features on the WORD N SOUND MIXED TAPE