Greta Bellamacina magnifies her soul
Critically-acclaimed London-based poet and actress Greta Bellamacina tells us that, if you want to write good poetry, you have to be brave…
Hello Greta! Thanks for talking to us. First up, how did your love of poetry come about and when did you realise you had a talent for it?
I think I have always been indirectly documenting the empirical world. At school I was always told off for writing in verse. I think I became more confident when I started to perform in public; it kind of all makes sense when you hear your work spoken for a stranger.
Talk us through your writing process… how do ideas come to you?
Morning editing and nighttime writing. I never write in the middle of the day. I was recently talking over lunch with quite a well-known author who said his writing process is dictated by the clock and regular walks. I think that’s sensible – I do try to set myself daily targets and walk the city.
Poetry must be a hard thing to do well… or perhaps an easy thing to do badly… how do you self-edit? When do you know if something is working or not?
I think you have to be objective and brave. Brave to say what you really think. Brave to make a point. Brave to let it all go. I think performing live helps the editing process as you have a detached audience and you can hear you own soul magnified by sound.
Tell us about the collection of poems you recently launched…
I recently edited a collection of poetry entitled ‘Natures Jewels’ in collaboration with MACK Publisher. It was an invaluable way to educate myself further about poetry.
As well as a brilliant poet, you’re also an actress and a model. Do you find it hard to juggle your time and your mindset between these three pursuits?
They all carry a certain amount of tension – I like that. Distinguishing their narratives seems to make my time simpler.
Do you ever get downtime and, if so, how do you like to spend it?
I try to settle my thoughts by listening to music and staring up at the sky. Taking a train somewhere.
Tell us about your recent project in Italy…
I wrote and starred in a short Surrealist film directed by New York based filmmaker Eduardo Gonzalez for Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book. The story is set is set in the pagan town of Alberobello. This historic place is depicted by astrological symbols and love ceremonies. It is inspired by the works of Andre Breton, Giselle Prassinos, Luis Bunuel and Jacques-Andre Boiffard. The film is played out through the poetic words of a character living in the modern world struggling to embody her true self. Her imagery of her genuine spirit is juxtaposed and empowered by the sunset and the magic of the place. After Dark aims to philosophically question the reality of self; whilst concluding later the humanity and kindness of a place and its people this is reaffirmed later in the film by one of the locals.
What else have you got going on for the rest of 2014?
I am planning on going on a poetry tour on trains through the US and UK. And I have a few film projects I am currently in the early stages with.
Finally, tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you…
I am learning to play the Harmonica.
Interview by Bobby Townsend