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Spending time with Soph - Fringe Poetry

Hey Soph, thanks for joining us for a chat, we find you in Nottingham - have you always been a local?

Hey! I have lived in Notts for around 7 years now and I come from Essex. I came to Nottingham to study at Trent uni, I did English Literature and Creative Writing. Nottingham is such a vibrant and alive place to be, it has made me feel more at home in such a small space of time than my hometown ever did. It celebrates creativity and actively brings it out in anyone who lives here.

Soph in her creative space.

I've been following your work fondly for a while, have you always written poetry?

My love for poetry has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember, it has sometimes been my sole companion. My mum always proudly tells this story after too many gins, of being called by the headteacher of my infant school to come in and read my poem I had written for a school project; to describe the colour blue. She said she stood there in shock, and was scared of me for days, as she couldn’t believe what I had written, apparently, I compared the colour blue to ‘oceans of deep crystals’, which for a five-year-old, I guess wasn’t the norm! It makes me laugh to think, as I also had an exceptionally large head for my body and already looked like an alien.

How did the name Fringe come about?

I named my project Fringe Poetry, simply because I have a fringe! It’s quite simple and not that deep but I like it.

Your words are so wonderfully considered. Whenever I read your poetry it makes me want to slow down and taste life more. I’d love to know, how do you feel when you’re working on a project? What does it do for you!

Writing for me, is one of the most mindful practices I do. I’m really into meditation, but this is something else. It feels like it visits and flows through me, my pen to paper doesn’t stop for a number of minutes, to hours per day, and it truly feels like it’s telling me something. I can sometimes be surprised at what comes to fruition, or other times, it simply affirms something I feel like I’ve been avoiding. I’m grateful for its therapy.

Wow, that sounds magical. Do you have any rituals you practice before/ during the creative process?

I like complete silence when I create, anything more and I feel too overwhelmed. I also like going through a dictionary and picking out random words and linking them together through free verse. Most of my poems are barely edited and stream of consciousness style and I like to leave them like that, just honouring creating in its rawest form.

A part of Midlands Makers is to inspire others into realising how varied the idea of a creative space is and how people utilise theirs. Could you talk to us about your creative space, how it works for you and what you like to surround yourself with. Could be physically or musically?

I always sit up a table when I write at home, but I often take my notebook out with me, keeping an eye out for anything that catches my inspiration. I really adore people watching anyway but adding poetry to them is such an enjoyable activity to do. Market square is an all-time favourite spot, though often I write more about pigeons than people, I LOVE pigeons!

Who or what inspires you?

My Buddhist practice often inspires my writing, the interconnectedness of emotions, people, the world. Just, touching reality.

What do you get up to when you are not writing?

I run a vintage and retro charity shop in town which I absolutely love! I adore vintage fashion. I also go to my local Buddhist centre, I’m really into running and socialising with friends.

What do you see in the future for Fringe?

I would like my Fringe platform to really just reflect my life in any authentic way it can, I think with Instagram its especially important to do that, keep it real. I’m starting to incorporate my love of second-hand clothing into it, which has been fun and well received, but my main passion is to be open about mental health and keep expanding societies limited and quite frankly, old fashioned views on it. I hope in being open, it can help someone who is suffering, I know what it feels like to be so alone in your mind and want to alleviate that if I can, even in a small way. My book is coming out this year and has an open and explorative narrative surrounding this topic. I cannot wait to bring it out and will be announcing on my page the dates soon!

What are your fave indies in Notts!?

My favourite coffee shop is Blend in Sneinton market.

Favourite pub is King Billy

My favourite shop is Sue Ryder Vintage and Retro charity shop in Hockley.

You can find Soph's wonderful work on her instagram by clicking

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