An Interview with Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

By Wasafiri Editor on January 1, 2017 in Articles

Tell us about how you got into writing?
I’ve been writing poetry ever since I can remember. My grandmother was a secondary school English teacher, and I grew up in a house filled with lovely old books of poetry. Reading and writing poetry was a big part of my childhood. As an adult, I started writing seriously after taking a Creative Writing course in poetry at the University of the West Indies.

What was the inspiration for your winning competition entry?
The winning poem “Portrait of my father as a grouper” was based on a personal experience with illness, memory, loss and forgiveness.
How has winning the prize changed your approach to writing or your plans?
The prize has definitely motivated me to keep writing! I submitted my entry just a few days after the birth of my son. Winning the poetry prize has been a wonderful and timely affirmation that I am on the right path as I enter into this new phase of life as mother and writer.What are you working on right now?
I am in the process of editing and putting the finishing touches on my first full collection of poetry.What advice do you have for people entering next year?
Submit your best work. Also, keep trying even if you aren’t successful the first time!
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné is a poet and visual artist from Trinidad and Tobago. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe Salon, Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal, The Missing Slate, Room, and Dirtcakes Poetry. She is the winner of the 2012 Small Axe Poetry Prize and the 2015 Hollick Arvon Poetry Prize. In 2013 she was shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize.  Danielle’s first collection of poetry is forthcoming.