Welcome to an extra feature on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, which highlights the poets in our writing community. It’s a chance for readers to get to know the people behind the poetry and the books. It’s a great way to share our love for writing poetry with others.
This week I’m thrilled to bring you, Jude Itakali and his first book of poetry! “Crossroads (Winds of Love)” releases May 17, 2021, and is available for pre-order now.
Jude Itakali was born and lives in Kampala, Uganda. He is publishing his first collected works, “CROSSROADS (Winds of love).”
When not being an athlete on the rugby field, or crunching down numbers on a computer for work, he delicately pens the epiphanies from life and its different relationships and encounters.
He writes about all sorts of topics, finding a way to relate them with each other because no one theme exists in a vacuum.
Empathy is sometimes considered a gift, and Jude has it in abundance.
Jude has taken part in Tanka Tuesday for a few years now. Each week I look forward to his special brand of poetic magic. Welcome, Jude!
Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. I’m really looking forward to our chat.
Great! I wanted to ask you a few questions so we could all learn more about you. Here we go! What got you started writing poetry? Why did you stick with it?
I love poetry because of its ability to touch many people, and yet still touch each one in a particular way. I admire the creativity it gives and the outlet for emotions that might otherwise fester within. The ability to exercise the breadth of language to pass on a message has always captivated me because it touches and evokes much deeper than plain direct words.
I write poetry because through it, I can share concerns, happiness, emotions, and awareness in ways that people can read and enjoy freely and openly.
I agree, Jude. We write poetry to connect with others. So, if you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I’d tell my younger self to stop hoarding his writing and get in touch with people who like reading and writing early enough. Doors would have opened much earlier. Plus to get his writing out there through a blog or site, and read a lot more with the aim of learning, as well as enjoying the read.
How has publishing your first book changed your writing process?
Publishing my first book has not really changed my writing process, but put an emphasis on quality, so that I keep learning, and keep improving in order to curve a niche for myself in the vast array of amazing writers and talent out there.
Thanks, Jude. What is “Crossroads (Winds of Love)” about?
In the corridors of love, at the crossroads of loneliness, we stand at our most vulnerable. As the winds of love swirl, we are often ill-prepared for the portends and promises that they carry. The longing, lust, fear, and deception. But also the hope, renewal, and lessons of love. In this book, may we be strengthened by the memory of things we have survived, soothed with the understanding of perspective, and comforted with the hope of things yet to come.
May these poems, prose and short stories touch each of us in our own particular way.
It sounds like an amazing read, Jude. I’ve added the links below:
Welcome to a new feature on wordcraftpoetry.com, which highlights the poets in our writing community. Get to know the people behind the poetry and the books. It’s a great way to share our love for writing poetry with others.
Today’s guest is Marjorie Mallon. She’s a frequent participant in our Tanka Tuesday challenges. I’ve known Marje since we both started blogging back in 2014! Time flies when you’re having fun!
My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!
On the 17th of November I was born, in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit.) My early childhood was spent in Hong Kong. During my teen years, my parents returned to my father’s birthplace, Edinburgh, where I spent many happy years. As a teenager, I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters have almost flown the nest, but often return with a cheery smile to greet me.
During the day, I work in an international sixth form with students from around the world. I’m the meet and greet lady who welcomes them to their new college and issues them with late slips when they don’t get to their lessons on time!
I write YA fantasy, paranormal, horror/supernatural short stories, flash fiction and short form poetry. More recently, I have produced and compiled an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown. Following on from this, in February 2021 I will be releasing Lockdown Innit, poems about absurdity which will be available in kindle and shortly after release in paperback.
I’ve been blogging for many moons at my blog home Kyrosmagica, which means Crystal Magic. From time to time I write articles celebrating the spiritual realm, inspiration and my love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.
Marje has a new book out called Lockdown Innit. I had to ask her what the word “Innit” meant. Basically, its British slang for “Isn’t it?” That should give you a clue as to the humor in this poetry collection. Here’s a bit about the book:
Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!
Preorder Buying Links Lockdown Innit Releases TODAY: February 26th
I started writing poetry and diaries at a young age. Then, other distractions came along: boys, followed by marriage, work, and children. I know that sounds somewhat cliched, but it took me a long time to rediscover my interest and love of poetry. If I hadn’t started blogging, I might never have. My re-introduction to poetry began with Ronovan Writes poetry prompts, I wrote short form three line haiku to begin with. Thereafter, I joined your weekly Tanka Tuesday, Colleen. I’ve never looked back. Colleen has an outstanding poetry blog full of advice on all types of poetry.Through Colleen’s guidance pages, I’ve had fun trying many different forms.
What is your favorite poetry form?
Ah, Colleen, that is a difficult question! I still love the Tanka form, preferring it to Haiku as it gives me two more lines to say what I’d like to!
I also love poems that form a shape on the page, such as the Etheree and the Cinquain. In my new poetry collection Lockdown Innit there is a wide variety to choose from, including free verse poetry, a Tanka, and an Etheree.
I tried a couple of new forms— the daisy chain form which was fun and the decastich—Egg timer Poem, which I discovered via this link on your blog, Colleen:
The image of the horses captured my attention so much that I used it as a focal point for my book cover image. The collection focuses on the strange things I have observed, felt, or experienced during lockdown.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Keep on writing!
I regret I didn’t return to writing for such a long time. When I became a mum, I devoted all my energies to my children and lost myself a little. I do, and I don’t regret that. I have two lovely girls who mean the world to me. It’s only now that my much-loved daughters are young adults that I’m finding more time, energy and enthusiasm to write.
Also, when I was younger, I lacked the confidence that I have now. I’ve grown so much as a person through blogging and writing. It literally has changed my life, and has introduced me to so many people, such a wonderfully supportive community. I’m blessed and obsessed!
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
That’s an interesting question. I wrote my first book, a YA Fantasy, The Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone in a whirlwind of imaginative ideas. I woke up each morning with an action reel whizzing in my mind. This still happens to me, I often awaken with an incredible burst of energy, and rush to jot down a storyline. I still get a huge buzz when this happens. In fact, it happened to me this morning!
Writing your first novel changes your writing process. I was lucky to have so much help, support and encouragement with my debut novel. I owe particular thanks to Colleen for her meticulous beta reading, which became a full-scale kindness of her heart editing, and prior to that to Graham Cumming for reading through the first draft and commenting on many suggested improvements. It is crucial to have a fresh pair of eyes, beta readers, and a trusted editor to read your work. All of which I have, I am so grateful to my beta readers and to the blogging community for all they do for me.
All writers have weaknesses, or excesses! I excel at imaginative ideas but have to work harder at dialogue and plotting. To a degree, I still resist plotting. I prefer the ideas to flow organically, but the key is to get the balance right. Balance is as important in all aspects of life as it is in the art of writing. So now, I play to my strengths, making sure that I have all the unique elements on a page, in the correct quantities! Dialogue, engaging characters, scenes, peaks and troughs, all working together to ensure that the crazy plot stands up to scrutiny. I continue to work at my craft, loving each step along the way. I am pretty stubborn! I never give up, even if the task seems almost insurmountable.
And believe me, the second in my YA series The Curse of Time #2 Golden Healer, is an immense challenge, one that I will work on completing later this year.
Lockdown Innit is my first book dedicated to poetry and nothing else.
My previous books, The Curse of Time, Mr. Sagittarius, and the anthology/compilation This Is Lockdown all include poetry.
This alone is indicative of how much I love poetry that it surreptitiously creeps in everywhere!
Thanks so much for stopping by Marje. I’ll make sure and add this book to the Tanka Tuesday Poetry Book Store where I share the Amazon Author links to the books published by the regular participants of the Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge. Many of these books include poetry, short stories, and essays. If you’re looking for a gift, this is the perfect place to begin your shopping journey. Books make thoughtful gifts.