Following the release of our anthology,?We Run Through The Dark Together, we?decided to interview a handful of its featured writers in order to get to know them and their?work better. In this interview, we speak to?Stephan Kyriacou, author?of Patchwork Boy, about?his sense of identity and the catharsis?that writing brings to his life.
What first prompted you to write poetry?
I first started writing poetry from the age of about 10. I’m not entirely sure what prompted me to start – we were studying it in class and I just remember loving it right from the beginning. Since then, I’ve just kept going, and it’s now become a really big passion of mine.
Do you feel poetry plays a role in your sense of identity? If so, how?
I think poetry does play a role in my sense of identity. I always list it as one of my skills/passions when talking about my writing, and it has become a vital way for me to express myself when other methods aren’t good enough. I often write about things that I personally have gone through, be it mental health, gender, or sexuality, amongst other things.
In Patchwork Boy, you touch on the capacity of friendship to bind together and heal. The boys share a mutual understanding of internal struggle. Would you say there is a fragility to friendships such as these, or perhaps the opposite — an impenetrable bond?
I think friendships that share struggles are both delicate and strong – being able to fully empathise with someone and what they’re going through can bring people together in a way that is different from normal friendships, but at the same time, care has to be taken to not let the friendship be entirely taken over by the hardships being faced. If two people become entirely reliant on just one another, then it can become negative and sometimes toxic. But if the right balance is found, then sharing a bond like that with another person is something that I’ve found to be life-changing.
For so many writers, their craft is a coping mechanism for the trials of dealing with compromised mental health. Is this true for you?
Writing has definitely acted as a coping mechanism for me. Besides being a healthy outlet for pain/fear/negativity, I often find it much easier to share my feelings on paper as opposed to speaking out loud. I’m a lot more open and honest when I write, and seeing the words on paper can be quite cathartic – writing them down feels almost like letting go of the bad feelings, and allows me to feel like I can breathe again.
Buddy Wakefield is a big poetic influence for me. His words have such raw power and energy – I’d definitely recommend his work, to poets and non-poets alike!
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