Today we interview Debra Ayis. She is an incredible poet that contributed to Stanzas and Clauses for the Causes with her poem “Ruined Goods”. It was a fascinating read that had given us chills as we went through it. It was quite descriptive and wonderfully written.
About Debra Ayis
She has been a published poet since the year 2002 when her Poem ‘My Routine’ was published in an anthology by Anchor books a Forward press imprint based in the United Kingdom.
Since first being published, she has been published in over 80 anthologies in the U.K, U.S and Nigeria, has published two books in the U.S and Nigeria, (‘Through the looking glass: a collection of poetry’ and ‘Thoughts and Memories’ respectively) and won over 8 awards two of which she is proud of. Being the ‘Talent for Writing’ a Young Writer’s Creativity Award 2006 and 2007’ and the winner of the 2009 writing competition (Poetry category) on Nigerian Women: Yesterday, today and tomorrow; presented by Centre for Human Development CHD Nigeria, supported by Ford Foundation.
She has work experience with three magazines for the period of 5 years where she transcribed, was a co-editor and editor respectively.
She has also been interviewed twice by 1Africa radio station which covers the continent of Africa and has also been invited by organizations, groups and schools to give talks on poetry and creative writing.
Where have you previously been published?
I have two published books on amazon: ‘Through the Looking Glass: a collection of poetry’ and ‘Thoughts and Memories’.
I have been published in several anthologies by Forwardpoetry, International Society of Poets, Poetry Rivals etcetera. And also magazines and websites such as ymiblogging.org, indulge magazine, Swanezine, worldslastchance.com, standtoendrape etcetera.
What country do you primarily publish or reside in?
At present I reside in the United States. I am predominantly published in the United Kingdom, United States, Nigeria and South Africa.
Has writing always been your dream job?
Writing has and always will be my dream job. I would love nothing less than a cottage in the prairie furnished with a pen and paper.
What are your primary inspirations for your writing?
My inspiration is God, Jesus Christ, life and nature.
Can you describe what your poetry in Stanzas and Clauses for the Causes is about?
It’s about the raw, hateful and wicked nature of rape. The story of the helpless, the other half of society that no one wants to think too deeply about.
Do you have any advice for any other poets that wish to enter the industry?
Grow a thick skin, work hard, read everything, stay original and never ever give up.
Outside of your own work, who would be your favourite writer and/or poet? Why is that?
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice) and the Bible (Book of Psalms): they are books I can relate to, books that give me comfort and hope.
Do human rights or social activism issues influence your writing?
Very much so, “ruined goods” is a direct example of the influence of human rights and social activism in my writing.
Do you have a career outside of your writing?
Yes I do, though I would like nothing more than to focus solely on writing.
Do you have any other hobbies or interests that help to influence your stories or poetry?
I love to travel, meet new people, read, try new things and just let my mind go free with imagination.
What is your most memorable moment as a writer or poet?
The day I first got published in an anthology (2005) and the day I found out I was the winner of the 2009 writing competition (poetry category) on ‘Nigerian Women: yesterday, today and tomorrow’ presented by Centre for Human Development Nigeria, supported by the Ford Foundation.
Do you have any future projects that you wish to talk about?
I plan to publish an anthology and a short story collection later this year. It will be collaboration with other poets and writers out there. Send me an e-mail of interest!
Thank you for sitting with us for this interview, Debra! We greatly enjoyed your poetry, and have great hopes for your future as a writer.