Meet Maura O’Malley

For Saoro Poetry Month in February 2023 we talked to some of the poets we love to learn more about how they started, what inspires them & any advice they may have for writers starting out… 

Recently we caught up with Maura O’Malley…

Saoro: How did you start writing poetry?

Maura: I started writing poetry after I made my first cross-country move back when I was still living in the States. It had a massive impact on me that I didn’t quite realise at the time, but I began writing poetry to process the stress, feelings of loneliness, and homesickness I was experiencing. Looking back on what I wrote, it was incredibly therapeutic.

Saoro: ⁠what does poetry mean to you? (As a writer & reader of poems)

Maura: I see poetry as a way to express oneself and work through difficult emotions without having to explicitly state so. It’s a way of sharing your thoughts and feelings without having to reach anyone in particular, and I love how readers can interpret your words differently.

Saoro: ⁠does or how does writing poetry help you on your healing journey?

Maura: Absolutely! I write about the things I have a hard time speaking about. Getting those words into a journal is often a much more productive and helpful space for them than my mind.

Saoro: ⁠do you have any tips or advice for anyone who would like to start to write but doesn’t know where to begin? If you have books or articles to recommend please do so

Maura: I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I have read, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert has some interesting and helpful pointers! From my own experience, you’ll hear it again and again, but it’s true: if you want to be a writer or a poet, then just get writing, even if only for a few minutes a day. Whenever an idea comes to mind, whether that’s a line, a word or two, or a concept for a poem, I immediately write it down. There’s nothing worse than losing one of those fleeting ideas! 

Saoro: can you tell us what your favourite poem or poems are & why?

Maura: I don’t know that I have a favourite poem, but A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the first collection of poetry that I read as an adult that resonated with me, and made me want to start writing my own poems. 

In conversation with Maura O’Malley

Image Credits: author

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Maura O'Malley
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