No Snowflakes, Just Snow: An Interview with Gayle Richardson


great weather for MEDIA is thrilled to head across the pond to London, England, on Wednesday August 31st 2016  for a spoken word extravaganza at the wonderful Poetry Cafe. For a taste of what’s to come, great weather’s Jane Ormerod catches up with performer and The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker contributor Gayle Richardson.

Not all women emotionally attach after sex.

I won't

My notches are vodka bottles with faces not individual waves just sea no snowflakes just snow.

- Gayle Richardson, "Used Bottles"


JO:  Congratulations, Gayle, on your publication in our anthology, The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker. "Used Bottles" is a real kick-ass, dirty poem. What is the history of this work?

GR:  Thank you. I'll take kick-ass and dirty as a compliment. I'm quite a fiery person and have always been one to say what I think. Some people can be surprised by that and don’t know how to handle me. Especially men. I guess I’m not your typical sweet and innocent kind of woman, but I do have a big heart. I get my heart from my mother. "Used Bottles" is just another good opportunity for me to shout my mouth off about the fact that I’m a realist and not a fluffy blanket.

JO:  We can't wait to hear you read "Used Bottles" at the Poetry Cafe in London. What can audiences expect from you? Also, as we learnt in last year's event in Norwich, you are a mesmerizing performer - did you always want to be on stage as well as write?

GR:  A lot of flying hands and death stares. When I was younger, I wanted to be a singer in a rock band. I studied music in college and dabbled in the 'on stage' thing but left that world behind in my youth. I always wanted to be published. Norwich was my first proper poetry reading on stage, and I loved every minute.

JO:  What part of Britain are you from and where do you call home? How important is location to your creative process?

GR:  I'm from Tonbridge, Kent but now live in Haverhill, Suffolk with my husband, Paul. However, Tunbridge Wells, Kent is my home. I spent many years living and working there, and it will always be a special place to me. Most of my friends live in Tunbridge Wells, and I miss not seeing them as often as I'd like. Especially Jim and Boz because they are as weird as I am. The location isn't that important to me with my work. Peace, quiet, and my cat is all I need.


Stop expecting it to look like what you thoughtI’m not that kind of tipple


JO:  Do you find any recurring topics in your writing?

GR:  I guess mainly people I’ve known and myself. When I say people, it’s usually the ones that have screwed me over or disrespected me somehow. Never mess with a writer, right? Like most people, I’ve had major ups and downs in my life, whether it be my health or relationships, and I tend to choose poetry to vent about the downs. As much as I want my poetry to hit home with some humans, I like to shock them with brutal honesty as well. I’m not very good at writing happy poems.

JO:  Who are some of your favorite writers?

GR:  Mike Patton for sure. I know he isn't a poet, but his music works have had a huge influence on my poetry. As for writers, I love Charles Bukowski. You can't beat his honesty. I also like Second World War Poets like Keith Douglas.

JO: Finally, what’s coming up on the horizon for Gayle Richardson?

GR:  So far, 2016 has been my year. It's been very lucky for me. Right now, I'm working, writing poems, and working on a children's book about my friend's daughter and her pet skunk. I don't want kids of my own but as a loving aunt to three, soon to be five, I have the ambition to make children laugh through my writing. Hopefully, I'll finish it one day soon. It won't be filled with any of this fairy tale nonsense. I'll still keep it real for the little ones.


The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker is a fearless and dynamic collection of contemporary poetry and short fiction by established and emerging writers. The anthology also contains an interview with musician Thurston Moore.

Submissions for our next anthology open October 15 2016

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The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker, London

Wednesday August 31st 2016, 7:30 pm

The Poetry Café (downstairs @The Poetry Place)

22 Betterton St, 

London WC2H 9BX

Featuring Prudence Chamberlain, Emily Harrison, Martin Ouvry, Gayle Richardson, Chris Stewart, Eley Williams, and great weather editor Jane Ormerod.

£5 / £3 concessions

Full info and map