The Women and Words Series I – AnastasiaRuth

In the first installment of the Women and Words series, I had the pleasure of interviewing a very talented lady who certainly has a way with words.


Meet, from Nigeria, Ruth.


 

Ruth is a Nigerian poet/ writer who loves to express her work, mostly on her blog, anastasiaruth.com. She was a member of Babacock University Literary Art Society (BULAS). She has also co-witten various works with poets and short story writers from all over Africa. Some of her works have been published in the Radioactive and Valzcognition anthologies respectively.
Here is her story.



 SoulfulMiss: Where does AnastasiaRuth come from?


AnastasiaRuth: AnastasiaRuth is my pen name. I love the name Anastasia so I just put it before my name; Ruth. Some people, however, think Anastasia is my name. I really don’t mind since it means “Rise to Glory”.

SM: At what age did you start writing?

AR: I can’t actually remember at what age exactly it was, but I knew after primary school that I enjoyed words and how they came together to mean just one thing. I think if I hadn’t misplaced my diary, I would have a record of how I started.

SM: What drew you to poetry?

AR: What drew me to poetry maybe music but then again, I never really enjoyed reading anything but poetry. I have read other genres of literature but I have only found myself with an understanding and enjoyment for poetry. In school, I understood poetry and was involved in a creative club. Often times when asked to make presentations, poetry was always my best bet!

SM: At what point did you realise that its something you really wanted to be doing and what encouraged to pursue it?

AR: I tried other genres and settled for poetry as my strength, not because I, soley, think it is but because I have also been told I am good at it. What better way then could I have used to conclude on what I should be doing? Thanks to those who enjoy my work as well.

SM: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

AR: I am inspired to write by the issues of life. Some from history, some from what I may call a thought on things I think may happen or even what may be happening. Writers, really, are the observers of society.

SM: Is poetry just a hobby that you do in your spare time?

AR: Yes and no. Sometimes it is a hobby and other times it is like a mandate to tell a story using a poem.

SM: Let’s talk day jobs. What’s your 9-5?

AR: I don’t have a 9-5 job. I have a blog that has an audience waiting for a show!


SM: What do you think should be done to make poetry a major art industry in Africa like we have seen the African music industry become in recent years?

AR: I wish we had a poetry museum. If there are any, I know nothing of them. I also hope we have more spoken word artists given platforms to perfect their skills from the day they decide on poetry as their love.

SM: Are you involved in any projects currently?

AR: No, not at the moment.

SM: How do you find time to write with such a busy schedule? How do you manage to juggle and balance everything?

AR: We all find time to do what we love.

SM: Did you have any fears when you started? How did you overcome them?

I thought I was the worst poet alive, but thanks to time I found out that everyone gets better at what they keep doing. I will, however, say that because I am still writing I am still overcoming things. I am a shy person and have never tried spoken word but I admire those who do. So like I said I am still overcoming.

SM: Do you think your gender affects how you or your work are perceived and received by your audiences and peers?

AR: Personally, I have never had someone say, “You write well – for a lady who writes poetry!” And I don’t think anyone should think a man writes better that a woman. So I guess, I don’t know if I am perceived differently.

SM: What’s the one thing you have learnt since you started writing that you didn’t know before and one you wish you knew when you made that decision to start writing.

AR: I have learnt to let poetry flow naturally, without forcing myself to compose a poem out of everything I encounter.
I wish I was involved in poetry groups prior to now. I wish I started writing together with other poets who were already spoken word artists and publishers. Its always good to be around those who know more about what you want to do. I published some of my poems before, something I wish I never did. It was a disaster project for me and even for the publishers themselves. I don’t even like mentioning that I ever did that, thats why it doesn’t appear in my bio.

SM: Any advice for a young girl who wants to follow the same path you took to become a writer?

AR: Keep writing, someone will notice you and your work.


Thank you again to AnastasiaRuth for sparing time from her schedule to share a bit of her world with us. You can find her work on her blog, anastasiaruth.com .

Join me next week as we speak to another inspiring young woman about her journey with words.

With love

Anesu

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