Friday, 10 December 2010

One Stop Poetry Featured Poet: Shân Williams

Shân Williams
Friday Feature on One Stop Poetry!

Today my guest is
Shân Williams, and her excellent blog is called Musings and Smatterings.  I've been following her work since last year, including the past weeks of One Shot Wednesday, admiring clever lines and dedication to craft. To my surprise, I discovered recently that English is not her first language. As you are about to learn, Shân's Welsh roots influence her English poetry, along with her studies in biochemistry and penchant for avid reading. 

Shân's Homeland...

"I began writing at a very early age, mostly in Welsh, as it is my first language. By the time I was 17, I had two eisteddfod (welsh cultural competitions) chairs and was published in Welsh magazines and in a small English anthology."

"What made me write originally was a love of my Homeland, and a vivid imagination. Also my roots, as my father is half Arabic, and there's quite a story about how my grandmother came to Wales in the first place. To put it lightly if it weren't for illegal immigrants, I would not be here! Most of my early works are based in the horror/sci fi/ fantasy genre. I still very much enjoy writing these types of work. I was influenced by Welsh poets such a Taliesyn, Ap Gwilym and later on R.S.Thomas and Dylan Thomas. I read Poe, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Carole Ann Duffy in English. I'm a bit of a bookworm, if I'm not reading then I'm writing."

Shân's Academic Background & Teaching....

"...I made a decision to study Biochemistry at Liverpool University, and my writing got lost by the wayside, until 2007s, in fact, where I got an itch to pick up a pen once more. What I found that I was an ok erotica writer, and that the short stories that I penned at the time were enjoyed by a number of readers. I wrote now from an older perspective, and more emotionally than before. Having traveled extensively after Uni and taught children from very poor backgrounds I had an insight into injustice, and this is one of the main reasons I write now. I have more confidence now as a 33 year old that my words will hopefully reach people, and be appreciated." 

Life & Writing....

"Life experience has changed my writing, and I like to go with the flow. An enquiring mind always asks questions, and it's always good to put those questions out there. Politics is another passion, so I tend to highlight the class divide with other poems. And of course I still write about the stunning, striking mountains of home!"

Shân's Sense of Humor...

"Saying that I have an evil sense of humor and enjoy liberal use of irony in some of my poetry, I classify myself firmly as a newbie in English. I'm learning, as everyone does, and brand most of my poetry as bad poetry! I'm more than willing to laugh at myself and don't take myself too seriously!"

And now 3 selected poems from Shân Williams


Under the bare bones of the apple tree

A frigidity swept over me

A coolness that bore me to the bone,

The loss of a friend, the one I called home.

As winter ravens cackled in grey British skies

And white snow-filled clouds burdened by

Ice tears formed in my eyes

As my feet followed the path of trodden earth

We used to walk in days of mirth.

On automatic pilot to the hard stone wall

Where keystones had scattered

Hand placed, they fall

At my small tired feet.

The smell of winter, old oak and pine

purvey into this empty mind.

Thinking of a world without a spring

Empty words, in my mind ring

As I search for reason

In this manic silent world

Without you.



The mockingbird screams its final tune

As mayhem ensues.

Dark eyes watch the carniage

Burning wreck, insolvent individuals

Running to and fro, hands in hair

Charred with ash, gravel, dirt.

What is this Earth?

What is this humanity?

The Raven watches entranced

Awaiting its last macabre dance.

Anticipaiting its final meal.

Rest assured it will be fulfilling.

Black eyes peruse,

Unfeeling of the situation,

Of the pain and the emotion,

Only carrion here

Where brother fights brother, kills sister.

Lest we forget

Fundementally 46 gene pairs

make us the same.

“Belief structure” makes us different.

Holier than though-than whom?

The starling above,

Makes no reference to the burning and bellowing below.

Continues its flight

No hesitations.

Not caring for warring nations.

"What I want to create with some of my poetry is a trip into the senses. To transport my reader to places and paint them a picture of what my words want them to see. If I could paint, I would!"—S.W.

New Old Fashioned Romance

Back in the days of black and white,

It was all cut and dried,

All it took was the shock of an ankle bared

Red hot lipstick, a shared cigarette,

Melodious harmonies created on the big screen,

Ingrid Bergman, James Dean,

All they had to do was smoulder up there

A Marilyn wiggle of the derrier.

Now in the world of match dot com

I sit here thinking-where did we go wrong?

Where’s the electricity, the passion, the innocence?

They had on the flickering screen? The Presence?

It’s just a story of boy meets girl.

Does it happen in this modern world?


Check Out Shân's Blog Musings & Smatterings @
Shân on Twitter:

Comments & feedback are always appreciated!



Anonymous said...

thanx for the introduction...her writing is wonderful.

Beachanny said...

Shan I loved this wonderful interview and knowing you more than just exchanging our twitteries. I like the use of birds through your poems. We have all those same birds in Texas. We have robins too, but they're big and sort of related to mockingbirds. There are many British birds we don't have but the ones you mention are here. It's funny but I like that connection. Loved all your poems too. I am glad we have made friends. Looking forward to more of your work. Gay @beachanny

Anonymous said...

Just a thank you from me, great job you lovely people are doing with one stop. I'm humbled and extremely grateful for the spotlight.


Poetry Passion Pastry said...

I love Shan's blog "Musings and Smatterings" and I love all of her writing, be it prose or poetry. I hate when she calls it "bad poetry" ~ it is anything but bad.
An excellent post about an exquisite poet.

Brian Miller said...

wow this was like a feast...i do enjoy shan's art...of these three, the second one really resonated with me...

Doubtfulpoet said...

Shan taught me Chemistry, and tutored me in Welsh to get through my TGAU/a levels. Owe you loads lady, but you already know that!! So so sooooo glad you're blogging and writing!!!! Xxxxxxxxx

Pete Marshall said...

wonderful spotlight on a very talented poet...the three poems are all wondrous but i do love the first...i have a clip of shan reading this and with her welsh lilt it really does work...great feature..cheers pete

welshpoet said...

Beautiful writing

hedgewitch said...

Enjoyed the spotlight, Thanks Dustus, for choosing such a gifted writer. Shan, I've always appreciated your thoughtful comments at my place and now I appreciate them even more after reading these poems.

Claudia said...

thanks adam for an excellent spotlight - and great to get to know shan a bit better - i also enjoy her poetry - and - "fundamentally
46 gene pairs make us the same" is just awesome - think i'll never forget this..

Anonymous said...

Shan...beautiful work and a pleasure to read!

signed...bkm said...

Very nice intro to the last poem on black and white love...true where is it..bkm