Theresa Lola, 21, is an up and coming poet from London who has recently had some of her poems published and, thankfully for us, we will be seeing much more from her in the near future! We got five minutes to chat with her about all that she’s up to.
Hey Theresa! Why don’t you start by introducing yourself and telling us a little bit more about what you do?
I am a poet and write poetry and articles as well as writing song lyrics for artists/musicians. I love telling stories about what I observe, narrating what the world is giving back to me, and putting it in writing.
Great! So when and why did you start writing poems and what inspires you to write?
I started writing at 13; it began with writing stories – as a child I loved to read. As I headed further into my teenage years going through different things, poetry became an outlet to express what I was going through. Writing poetry began as a hobby but by the age of 18 it hadn’t only become something I loved, but something I really wanted to do.
What inspires me are my life experiences. I write about family, childhood, other people’s experiences and social issues. I just observe and write, as long as I have a connection with that story I am able to write about it.
What poem are you most proud of?
Grandfather. It’s a poem about my Grandfather who had dementia. This poem was a testament to how vulnerable I was as a writer. It is the most honest poem I have written as I didn’t hold anything back. Yeah, this is the poem I’m most proud of.
Often people think poetry and spoken word are one of the same things – myself included. Could you clarify what exactly is poetry and what exactly is spoken word?
Personally, I try not to think about ‘definitions’ as such. Every writer has a different voice and therefore naturally the definitions change. But I’d say spoken word is poetry that takes more advantage of performance, emotion and audience interaction. It goes beyond the paper and takes into account the audience.
Your poems, for the most part, tend to centre on themes of female empowerment and current racial issues. Now, there is lots of readily available material – literature, videos, poems on these topics and some might even say they have been exhausted to the max. Can you explain to our readers why you are passionate about these subject matters and perhaps why it is still important to talk about these very current issues.
I think everybody should be passionate about these topics. For a change to come everybody has to be passionate about such subject matters. I am passionate because I’m black and I’m a woman. As long as issues exist, we’ll be talking about the same issues. The fact that people are still talking about female empowerment shows that again, such topics haven’t been exhausted.
Fantastic! When writing or developing ideas, how then does your faith inform the essence of your poems?
My poems always suggest and show hope no matter how gritty the subject is! I do write poems that are centred around my faith, and that hope in my faith is Jesus.
Any advice for our readers out there looking to progress or even begin a journey writing poetry/spoken word?
Read! Read other people’s work, educate yourself about what’s going on around you and the poetry world. Write more! As you write more you become more confident and find your own voice. Then confidently you can share your work.
If you want to see more from Theresa, check out her Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram & YouTube: