Image via Samira Vivette
If you haven't heard of her yet, her name is Samira Vivette - an Australian poetress, who is currently taking the poetry world by storm. With her debut collection of poetry entitled 'Pastel Dreams and Glittered Hearts' Vivette's work unites women through an assembly of mesmerising poems, which incorporate ten themes: solitude, grief, dark skies, toxic love, broken friendships, anxiety, finding true love, healing, memories, and femininity and double standards, which women of all ages, races and backgrounds can undoubtedly relate to.
In a world where women's voices and talents are dampened, it is important to be reminded of our strength, and Vivette's words and affirmations do exactly that.
We spoke with Samira about her book, background and much more.
1) Tell us more about yourself and your background.
I’m an author and poetess from the land down under. I recently released my debut book, “Pastel Dreams and Glittered Hearts” – a mixed poetry collection comprising often different themes ranging from solitude, broken friendships and nostalgia to toxic relationships, femininity and everything else in between.
I have been a writer my entire life and without sounding cliché, writing is my oxygen. I only started publicly sharing my words online last year and have continued to do so after a great response, and here we are!
2) Do you come from a literary background?
I don’t, actually. I have never studied writing or anything to do with literature. But I have always had a burning passion for words and everyone around me could see it when I was growing up. Writing has just always been second nature to me.
3) How did you get started in poetry?
When I was younger, I would write movie scripts and horror novels like no tomorrow. It’s all I did. The transition to poetry was a natural one that came about in my early teenage years after experiencing heartbreak and processing my emotions. I still have so many poems and thoughts scribbled in my old notebooks.
4) How do your poems develop?
They usually begin as phrases that rhyme or ideas that can’t seem to leave my mind. I write down absolutely everything when I can and then build on them later. It really depends on how I’m feeling on the day. Sometimes, every word that I put to paper rhymes fluently, and other times, I feel like engaging in a less structural and more free-flowing approach which is when I write prose.
5) Do you show your work in progress to anyone?
Not really. I mainly keep my work to myself. I’m very introverted in general but when it comes to something as deeply personal as my poetry, I prefer to keep it secret, unless there’s a piece I wrote that I’m incredibly proud of and I feel I have to share with those close to me.
6) Where did the idea for 'Pastel Dreams and Glittered Hearts' stem from?
After knowing that I was going to write a book, I remember creating so many different poems with varying themes; some poems were about heartbreak and love and others were about nostalgia and solitude. And then I just had this vision to combine all these different topics into one book and create, not just a poetry book, but an experience. I wanted to create something where the reader could sit and savour each chapter and be taken back to a certain place or time. The book itself is a journey through the emotional ups and downs of life and is deeply personal to me. I hold my book close to my heart because there are so many emotions inside – it feels like a lifetime of lessons and pain wrapped into one.
7) Which poems in 'Pastel Dreams and Glittered Hearts' would appeal to women and young girls who are learning self-love and healing from their past?
The entire book itself is a journey from self-love to healing sequentially through the chapters, however, there is one particular chapter titled: “Mirror Sparkles and Cherry Red Lips” which talks about self-love in more detail.
Here are a couple of excerpts from that chapter:
“The lessons which echo from a million throats
Teach a generation of young women
That the mirror is their enemy
And other women are their competition.
Such destructive principles have weakened
The ideals of self-confidence
And broken the chain of unity.
The mirror should not be your enemy
If you can learn to widen the scope of beauty,
And your fellow woman
Was never your competition to begin with.”
“I rarely feel in control of my being
Because each time I attain a level of comfort,
I am told by society how it should be used.
The opinions of those who have no input are placed front and center,
Leading me to question my choices restlessly,
Inducing doubt in my mind that maybe
I have chosen the wrong path.
This body is mine,
Yet I am made to feel an obligation to everyone but myself.”
8) What is the message behind "Mirror Sparkles and Cherry Red Lips". Can you tell us more about it?
This chapter is all about girl power and embracing femininity. “Mirror Sparkles and Cherry Red Lips” addresses and questions the double standards and unrealistic expectations placed upon women and is filled with many affirmations and empowering poetry and prose. I promise that readers will finish this chapter feeling more confident and appreciative of themselves.
9) What keeps you motivated?
The fact that I still have so many untold stories within me and my words have already helped so many, – that motivates me. The messages, the pictures, and the support from readers who tell me their words have helped them. It has to be one of the best feelings in the world.
10) What's next on the radar for Samira Vivette?
In the hopes of not giving too much away, I’ll have to say watch this space!
Samira's debut book 'Pastel Dreams & Glittered Hearts' is now available.
You can find out more about Samira and her work