by Kamal Kolade

Deanna Rodger was part of ‘On The Edge’ pilot Flash Up! project which took place over Artsfest. Members of Team V were interested to find out a bit more about the artists who provided the material for the project. As spoken word is often perceived as a less threatening pathway to engaging with music than learning an instrument or singing, it is a fun way to get everyone finding the rhythm that goes with the rhyme.

Kamal asked Deanna some questions about her creative process:

Kamal: Everyone has their own way of avoiding or working with writer’s block. Do you have any techniques?

Deanna: I really try to not let it get to me. I think that when I have panicked it’s been harder to come out of, so I have learnt to try to write through it and understand when it is time to put down my pen and let my mind understand what it wants to say.

Kamal: Artists drive under whatever inspires them. What areas are you mainly inspired by?

Deanna: I think my inspiration right now is exploration. I have been writing for a while and am beginning to look at how my style can be stretched and evolve. I guess this means that I’m writing ‘away’ from myself much more. Experimenting with third person and objective perspective. I love metaphors!”

(Kamal: What’s your favourite metaphor? Deanna: One of my favourite metaphors gosh, I think ‘her benefit, one son, a bright boy of renewable energy’)

Kamal: What makes the art of poetry your choice on how to express yourself?

Deanna: Poetry is a connection from my existence to someone else’s, and the charge received from that connection is so powerful I can’t help but perform some of what I write and I guess that’s why it is certainly the boldest most obvious but there are many other ways I express myself through photography and acting for instance.

Kamal: How long have you been writing material for and do you feel as if you can track your idea patterns through your writings?

Deanna: I have been writing for 6 years now. And I think the fundamental ideas are the same, it’s my angle on them that differs. I try to look with more detail and be more open-minded.

Kamal: If you could name two people who inspire you in life and two people you want to work with who would those greats be? In what way do these people inspire you?

Deanna: Hannah Morrish- A young actor I had the privilege of working for seven months with. She is immensely talented, hardworking and kind. She inspired me to become much more practical and dignified in my approach to acting.

Josie Rourke- The artistic director of The Donmar theatre. She conversed in a way that enabled me to question my ambition and myself.

I am fortunate to collaborate with a vast amount of talented poets: Rubix, Point Blank Poets, Chill Pill and Keats house as well as ‘Shh’ and Charlie Dark.

Dakota Fanning- I would love to act alongside her. It feels as if I have grown up with her admiring her talent. I would love to work with her.

Deanna Rodger is an inspiration for all of us, she shows us that perseverance allows us only to get better. Look out for this artist because she has words that hit harder than punch lines and her poems give you an insight into something from a completely different angle – like a hall of mirrors.  

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