Kassandra Gordon, godboss of the Grape Soup jewellery company and poetry blogger, tells all about all:

What does poetry mean to you?

Words with more thought. Poetry for me is one of my creative outlets and has taken over my life. Poetry is my life. If I don’t do it, I will become unhappy. I think it has made me a better person and people who know me see me differently.

What relationship do you see between the city you live in and your poetry?

Good question! If it wasn’t for the poetry scene in London, I would have moved out of London by now. I have a love-hate relationship with London. My love for poetry started in London. A lot of the poems I write are about my experiences and thoughts in London. If I didn’t move to London 3 years ago, I wouldn’t have written any poetry.

If you had to sum up existence in one word, what would it be?


When you perform a poem, how do you feel beforehand? How do you feel afterwards?

When I do a new poem, I naturally feel nervous. The vibe of the gig/poetry-night also influences my performance. I usually feel good after I perform. It’s a release.

Who/what inspires you?

Life and jewellery inspire my poems.

I don’t really understand why black poets talk about race so much in their poetry. Please tell me something about that.

Seriously? You don’t know why? Different people will tell you different things. I am not the spokesperson for black people. I can only tell you my experience. All I can say is when you live through so much racism you can understand fully. Also some people do not understand how common racism is on a whole lot of levels. Not every racist person will call you nigga, but there are subtle ways how people can be racist. Also, a lot of friends who have not experienced racism or been around black and minority people have little awareness of it happening and how rife it is. I think some people feel uncomfortable about race and they get defensive. Creating poems about racism or ‘blackness’ I hope will make people think about stereotypes. Also, I hope it will encourage debates in an open arena to talk about racism (to get rid of it) instead of talking about the PC brigade.

You also make jewellery. I don’t know anything about jewellery. Tell me something about jewellery.

For me jewellery tells me a bit about the person, their personality. For me jewellery is a form of external beauty and self-expression.

What is your favourite piece of jewellery that you have designed? Why?

I love them all. I treat all jewellery as a piece of art. If I had to choose one, I love my Queen Nefertiti and Pharaoh pendants – I feel powerful and royal with them. I feel when I wear them I can conquer anything!

What do you do when you’re not making poems and jewellery?

Youth-work, songwriting, blogging and going to the cinema.

What do you think the world will look like in a thousand years?

Like dust.

You frequently evince distaste for male poets who try to, as you put it in your interview with Stephanie, “pick up chicks.” I’m thinking of having myself castrated for Christmas – would you like me more if I did?

I don’t think every male poet comes to a poetry-night to pick up chicks. I do come across some sleazy people (like anywhere). I just find sometimes that some male poets write poems for girls and say the cliché thing of how much they want to sex them up and how they’re not interested in a girl’s looks and their personality is more important (which you and I know is bullshit for some people when they first meet someone. Or when they sexually objectify a woman in a conversation straight after I heard their poem).

One last question: if you were me, what one last question would you ask you? and what would the answer be?

What does it mean to be a successful poet?
…I don’t know.


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