Poet Interview: Courtney Gould
I was introduced to Courtney through a friend and have fallen in love with her honesty and way of expressing herself in the most raw ways. Her poetry is hard hitting and relatable to many people who struggle with bad relationships with lovers and parents, people who have or are struggling with drug additions, and mental illness, as well as being able to touch people among the LGBTQ+ community! She pairs her poetry with the most beautiful art which makes it even more incredible and eye catching. Be sure to check out her bio in the newsletter that was sent out this morning as well as a couple poems from her! So here we go… As always let me start off asking…
ReBecca: Did you always want to write?
Courtney: Yes, ever since I was a kid I loved writing.
R: If yes, when did you know?
C: When I was 9 I started journaling and I just knew it was going to be something I loved.
R: What inspires you?
C: I get a lot of inspiration from other writers. A lot of my writing has come from painful experiences that has inspired me to share my story with others.
R: What are your favorite topics to write about?
C: I’m interested in more dark topics. I love writing about sexual assault, mental illness, sexuality, addiction and different types of abuse.
R: What does your creative process look like? When you’re writing…Music? Silence? Night? Day?
C: I write all different times of the day but I always need silence. If I want to channel a sad mood I’ll put on sad music.
R: Laptop, pen and paper, typewriter, phone?
C: I use either a laptop or the notes section on my phone.
R: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
C: I would say my most interesting quirk is that I have really bad A.D.D. This makes writing very hard and leaves me with a lot of mistakes in my poetry.
R: Writing a book? Tell us a little about it!
C: I am writing a book! I’m writing a collection of poems that reflect the journey of my life. I’m writing a lot about mental health and addiction. I feel like not many books are out there on overcoming addiction and I really want to reach that audience.
R: Any tips for new writers?
C: Don’t over think writing; writing is so complex and individualized that there is no wrong or right way to do it!
R: You write about so many topics that are surrounded by stigma such as, drug use, eating disorders, sexual assault, sexuality in general, etc.. How do people usually respond to this? And how do you respond to their reactions?
C: I have gotten nothing but positive feedback. All these topics effect everyone everywhere. The rawness of my writing was something I had to get used to publicly posting so the positive responses have helped me continue writing in a style that is unique to me.
R: How do you feel about mental health and the stigma around it? What about how the poetry community has been taking a stand to put an end to that stigma? Do you feel like we are making a change towards a more kind and understanding world?
C: I think the poetry community is absolutely making a difference with their writing. The poets that have published books and the poets that reach followers and an overall audience on the internet have made an impact. A lot of poets talk about where the mental illness stems from (abuse, poverty, racism, etc.) and has opened up conversation on the topic in a big way.
R: I love how unapologetic you are.. Where do you get your strength from when it comes to sharing raw, open, & honest poetry on such a huge platform like Instagram?
C: I get all my strength from other writers. The only reason why I feel comfortable writing the way I do is because I watch hundreds of fellow poets do the same!
R: Is writing healing for you? What is the most healing piece you’ve written, do you think?
C: Writing is so healing for me. Writing helps me cope with the day to day struggles of mental illness and recovery. The most healing piece I’ve ever written is “if you loved me when I was using” because it was so honest. The guilt and shame of being an addict dictates expression; so I was really thrilled with myself for posting that.
R: What you think about the Instagram Writing/Poetry community? How did you get started on Instagram?
C: I think the poetry community on Instagram is amazing. I got started by following a ton of accounts and reaching out to other poets. I also posted a ton and became very public. Have you learned anything about writing/poetry since joining Instagram?I have learned that followers and likes do not dictate a good poem. I have learned to fall in love with my style despite kickback or lack of attention.
R: Are there any Instagram poets that have inspired some of your pieces or even your writing style?
C: Yes! Tons of female poets especially have inspired me. I treat published books as prompts and use their topics to stir up something of my own.
R: How would you describe your page or your body of work?
C: I would describe my page as raw yet simple. I don’t use any fancy lingo or metaphors do I do dig deep.
R: What are some of your passions outside of writing/poetry?
C: I am a graduate student in the social work field and love helping people and learning about social issues.
R: Do you believe in writer’s block? – If yes, what would you say is the best way to work through writer’s block?
C: Yes! Writers block is common for me and gets in the way often but is temporary.If I can’t write, I read. I read poetry books that stick out to me until I can think of something on my own.
R: Favorite book?
C: The princess saved herself in this one
R: Favorite author?
C: Amanda Lovelace
R: A book that made you cry?
C: If my body could speak
R: What is your mission?
C: My mission is to reach an audience that hasn’t been met before.
R: If you could say anything to your readers…what would you say? (any advice, thank you, whatever!)
C: I would say a big thank you!! I grew an audience pretty fast and didn’t expect it! I am so grateful for the fellow poets that give me constant feedback and support! I would advise everyone to keep writing and keep sharing your deepest thoughts and emotions! Your journey is a bright one.
Thank you so much, Courtney for taking the time to do this interview and allowing me to get to you know a little better. I wish you all the luck and cannot wait to hold your book in my hands! I’m sure it will be truly amazing!
You can find Courtney on Instagram at @courtneygouldpoems.