Interview with Poet Acacia Mitchell

Today we’re sharing an interview with a talented young poet, Acacia Mitchell. She has just released “Waiting Spaces: A Poetry Collection” which is her first poetry book.

We’ll let Acacia introduce herself:

“Acacia means life, redemption, blossoming in hard places. 

I love that my name means that, because it’s something that I want to happen everywhere I go- people getting healed and restored and whole. 

I grew up in Canada until the age of twelve, when God called my family to pack up, move to Scotland, and start a new life serving the people there. Five years later and I have not decided where home is- so I am attempting to redeem where I am right now without longing for where I could be. 

I have three younger brothers, (who will soon all be taller than me) and two fantastic parents. I eat a lot of chocolate. It helps with writing, I swear.”

Hear from Acacia on writing quirks, inspiration, and what to learn from getting published. First, here’s one of her poems.

Acacia says, “This is a poem I wrote during the escapril challenge this year, and appeared first on my Instagram.”


ladders & the memories that I will become

ladders and stairs
rooftop straights all
leading up to the sky, ungated
airspace above homes unknown to the ones beside them and
somehow still holding their own hopes
uniform homes contain unique residences, each a story waiting to be told
for better or for worse
a life boxed into 80 years can hardly be fathomed when it’s memories unwind and
yet in the end
it is confined to what others remember of it.
 
what is man that you are mindful of them?
 
when the sun sets one final time and the view from up there greets re-made eyes
what is it that i want said of my time on this two-tone ball headed for demise?
do i even want them to speak of me or instead
of how much God was seen through all that i did and breathed and said?


Read more poems like this one in “Waiting Spaces: A Poetry Collection” which is now available on Amazon.

Now, let’s hear from Acacia about all things writing poetry!

What early experience taught you that words have power?

“I can’t point to one experience that made me go ‘Wow, words are powerful,’ but I do know that the bible has had a huge effect on how I view words.

If the creator of the universe spoke space into being with words, if the gospels that bring life are explained through words, if the psalmist’s poetry can convey a small fragment of the splendour of God- surely words must be eternally important. They will not last forever, but the impact that they have might.”

When did you start writing?

“Probably six or seven. I have always loved the idea of stories and being able to create a world out of your own head. Later, as I grew, that turned into poetry and wrestling through life’s great issues. 

Writing became a serious interest for me when I was around fifteen.”

What inspires your poetry?

“Everything. 

Moving. The ocean. A beautiful old lady I met at the store. A panic attack that left my shaking at 2 am. Redemption and grace. For me, poetry is simply an expression of emotion in a beautiful way.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your writing career?

The Young Writer’s Workshop. It’s a writing program run by Brett Harris, Kara Swanson, and Jaquelle Farris. They have taught me so much- from writing habits to plot devices.”

What’s the hardest thing for you to write? Easiest?

“I don’t think there’s a particular genre that I find hard to write- but I often struggle to write something if I have this idea in my head of how I want it to come out. I get stuck in this ‘it must be perfect the first time’ rut. When that happens, I’ll do a free-write (writing for five minutes without stopping, even if that means writing “I don’t know what to write now”) or outline the piece. 

I find it easiest to write about things that are immediately on my mind. That sounds obvious, but oftentimes I think that I have to write about something that I don’t care about because other people have written about it. If I’m not interested, I will not have a passion to write about it. And so my writing will be less interesting.”

If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would you say?

“Write consistently. Little pieces over time instead of one big pile. Don’t force yourself to create perfection, just create. There will be enough time later to change things.”

Any advice for other young writers?

The best piece of advice I ever got was to write 100 words a day. Seems like a pretty small number, but that habit meant that I would write consistently instead of having a massive “brain dump” and then not writing for two weeks. 

So young writers, keep writing. You can only get better from here!

My other piece of advice is this- learn from every rejection letter and critique. Yes, they are painful and it may seem as if you are simply a horrible writer, but when you choose to listen to the advice and keep going, your craft will get so much better. 

Anything else you want to share? 

“I’m releasing a collection of poetry called Waiting Spaces! Here’s a little about it: 

We have all waited.  
While searching for answers. Staying in places of rest and growth,
or unsure of where to call home.
Waiting Spaces explores the feelings of
waiting through poetical thought and spoken word.
Each poem is written as a letter to those who are in their 
own spaces of waiting. 
Perhaps you will find one written to you. 

The first fifty people to buy Waiting Spaces and email me a photo of the receipt will get a little thank-you gift- some digital art from the book and a PDF to send to a friend. You can email your receipt to me at acaciawritespoetry@gmail.com.”

To hear more from Acacia, be sure to check out her blog at thoughtsfromatree.com or you can follow her Instagram @acaciawritespoems.

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