Poet Interview: September Stardust
I am over the moon excited about this particular interview. This incredible woman who I have been able to get to know and call a friend writes some incredibly beautiful and sexy poetry! On top of that she is super sweet, smart, and funny plus our mutual love for coffee makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy. So, let’s jump right into the Q&A with September Stardust!
ReBecca: Did you always want to write? – If yes, when did you know?
September: I loved to read as a kid, and books opened up my love for writing. I’d write poems for my parents on their birthdays. In 2nd grade English class, I was psyched to write my first limerick after having read a few in a joke book. When my mom got me a book of poetry for children, I was amazed by how poems could tell stories in just a few lines. What really hooked me into writing more was Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”. I loved how the characters were brought to life by the author. My 10-year-old heart resonated particularly with Jo March and her love for writing. After that, whenever I would be asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell adults, “An author.”
R: I love this! It’s so sweet!
R: How did you come up with your pen name, September Stardust?
S: I love stars and do believe that we carry stardust in our bones, hence the name Stardust. As for September, well, I was born premature! I was born in July, when I should have been born full-term in September. September symbolizes my “what-if’s”, perhaps an alternate me. I combined these two special words, and September Stardust was born.
R: Oh my god! The meaning behind this is so magical. I adore it so much. Thank you for sharing this with me!
R: Why did you decide to write under a pen name?
S: I wanted to separate my writing persona from my everyday life. Writing is an escape for me, and having a name that I chose for myself versus one my parents had chosen for me made me feel like I was creating and really living in my own world.
R: You also write on Tumblr, how do you feel about it versus Instagram?
S: I feel tumblr is great especially for enjoying short stories, fan fiction, and longer, more reflective pieces. I’ve been more engaged with Instagram recently though as I wanted to create visually stimulating posts for my pieces.
R: What inspires you?
S: Oh wow, there are so many things I take inspiration from – places I’ve been to or yearn to go to, a beautiful illustration, a simple line said by a friend, writing prompts, random life experiences… Some people have a melody constantly playing in their head. Some people are constantly moving to a beat. In my case, there’s a story constantly being written in my thoughts. Inspiration is everywhere.
R: Most of your writing is about love and yearning what made you start writing love poetry and really making it your signature theme?
S: I do tend to write about love and yearning a lot because these are experiences that really come alive for me, whether positively or negatively. These are also the experiences that are most difficult for me to talk about verbally. I’d be too awkward to talk about them with friends face-to-face. But when written down, the emotions flow seamlessly. Whether it’s hope or pain or passion or desire, writing about love’s different aspects helps me breathe a little more.
R: I totally relate. It’s so much easier to write down how I feel.
R: What are your favorite topics to write about? Why?
S: I enjoy writing about love and the gaps around it – missed connections, regrets, long-distance woes. Putting pain into words is strangely fulfilling, as if writing about the gaps will make the universe a little kinder to the lovelorn. I also enjoy writing about finding love in the simple things – how coffee tastes different when it’s made by your lover, that unplanned first kiss, the playfully intimate moment of sitting on the couch watching Jeopardy! together. Love doesn’t have to be grand to be recognized. Writing about these simple moments makes me feel all fuzzy inside, and I like being able to express my mushy side that way. Sensual, salacious, sultry topics are another favorite of mine. It’s a great way to channel all the passionate energy I also carry.
R: What does your creative process look like? When you’re writing…Music? Silence? Night? Day?
S: I don’t have a set creative process. I write when I’m inspired. That can happen when I’m sitting in a cab, at a coffee shop, in the middle of a meeting. Sometimes a song comes on and I’m reaching for my phone to tap in a poem. Sometimes I’d be chatting with someone and they’d say something that would inspire me to go, “That makes a great prompt!” Then I’d write about it afterwards.
R: Laptop, pen and paper, typewriter, phone?
S: Pen and paper. My phone. Magnet poetry. I only use my laptop for short stories, which I haven’t done in quite some time. I would love to have a typewriter!
R: I love my typewriter but I live on my laptop!
R: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
S: I have a snack I indulge in occasionally that a lot of people find quirky – chocolate powder over white rice. It’s so good! It’s comfort food for me and apparently strange to others. I encourage you to try it!
R: I have never tried it but I totally will! I love rice and chocolate so I mean…why not?!
R: Writing a book? Tell us a little about it!
S: This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, but it’s never gone past a dream. I believe I will write a book someday, but I haven’t devoted enough time to make this happen – that’s on me entirely! If anyone has tips, I gladly welcome them.
R: I really hope you do! I’d love to read it!
R: Have your personal experiences shaped your poetry?
S: Absolutely. Every single one of my poems is inspired by a personal experience. I can’t write about something I haven’t gone through firsthand.
R: What does writing bring to you? An escape? Healing? A sense of joy and happiness?
S: Writing brings me both relief and hope. Almost every poem I have written is a whispered wish. In their own ways, they are secrets written as poetry and prose.
R: Aw.. I love this! I think a lot of poems that are written are secrets or wishes, for sure!
R: What are some of your passions outside of writing/poetry?
S: I love hanging out in the kitchen. Cooking is a very relaxing process for me, one that allows me to be creative and experimental while helping me wind down. I’m also a big bookworm. I carry a book with me everywhere I go! Another passion I’ve recently gotten into is fitness. I’ve been on a journey of embracing self-care more this year, and a big part of that was reframing my perspective on working out. What I used to resist is now something I look forward to and enjoy quite passionately.
R: I also carry a book everywhere I go! Sometimes a couple different books (in case I can’t decide on a genre… ha!)
R: Any tips for new writers?
S: Write without fear. Edit later. Keep writing until you find a style that suits you, a way of putting your emotions into words that makes you feel comfortable with your vulnerability. You’re well on your way to finding your writer’s voice.
R: What you think about the Instagram Writing/Poetry community? How did you get started on Instagram?
S: I love how supportive the writing community in Instagram is. I got started on Instagram as a way to mirror what I would write on my tumblr page. Now it’s the other way around. I love the visual play of words and images, and I find that this kind of creativity thrives more in Instagram.
R: Also..You run Starlit_Poems… What made you want to start that page?
S: Stars fascinate me. I wanted to curate the star-related poetry I enjoyed reading from various accounts so they’re all on one page. That’s how Starlit Poems was born.
R: I’m so happy it was! I love your star-themed prompts that you put out!
R: Do you believe in writer’s block? – If yes, what would you say is the best way to work through writer’s block?
S: Yup. It happens. Sometimes I really want to write but can’t find the right words to convey what I want to say. What’s worked for me is to step away and not write at all. I don’t even think about writing. I try not to pressure myself to write otherwise the block lasts longer. So I read, watch something on Netflix, go about my chores, cook something up in the kitchen, go about my usual day. Sometimes the block takes days, and that’s okay. It’s all part of the creative process of writing.
R: Favorite book?
S: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, because it’s the book that got me into writing and reading.
R: Favorite author?
S: Can I go with favorite poet?
R: Yes! Please do!
S: e.e. cummings. I first read his poems in the children’s poetry book my Mom got me when I was 8 years old. My little kid mind was blown away by his style! Could you write in just all lower-case letters? Could you write with so many spaces between words? Why weren’t his lines aligned? I LOVED it! My favorite poem is also by e.e. cummings – “I Carry Your Heart With Me”. I am in love with that poem. When I learned a few years ago that e.e. cummings also wrote raunchy poetry, I loved him even more.
R: A book that made you cry?
S: The Bridges of Madison County. It’s so painful and beautiful. I’ve read the book several times and I’ve cried every single time I read it… and I’d read it again.
R: What is your mission?
S: My mission is closely related to my day job – to let people see the light they have within them and to help them nurture that light so they shine the best way they can.
R: This is such an amazing mission! I love it!
R: If you could choose one piece of your writing that is your favorite, what piece would it be? (Provide a link, please!) Why?
S: My favorite is a poetry series called “The Space Between Us” where I use the senses to describe what the space between two distant lovers smells like, tastes like, feels like, sounds like, looks like. You can read it here!
R: Who are some of your favorite instagrammers? Poets/writers/artists, I wanna know!
S: I am so inspired by the art and poetry community in Instagram. I love the art of Issa Barte, Flowsofly, Hifu, Annie Miteva, Enna Anna. I admire the poetry of Saint Hugo, Lexi, The Words, Jenn Dessert, Yugen and so many others.