Meet the Members: Jackie Juno

Chudleigh Writers’ Circle has been around for a good while now. Our numbers have stayed fairly stable at around twenty throughout the past decade, but the faces have changed considerably. Initially we all lived in the town. These days, only a handful of us are very local; Chudleigh now defines where we meet, rather than where we live.  We have produced two anthologies. We run a Literary Festival each year. But who are we? A few of us are very active on social media. Many of us remain in the shadows. But that’s about to change.

We are introducing a new, occasional series where we profile members of Chudleigh Writers’ Circle. This week, we start with poet and musician, Jackie Juno.

Hello Jackie, and welcome. What do you write?

I am primarily a performance poet; though much of what I write would be classed as ‘page’ poetry, and I also write lyrics – I am lead singer with psychedelic rock band The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet.

I have had a stab at writing short stories, though I know this isn’t my forte – but managed to somehow become a finalist in a Writing Magazine short story competition a few years ago!

When and Where Do You Write

Writing usually occurs at the dining room table, during the day when other family members are out. Though of course writing also happens in many places – if I suddenly get a phrase or idea I will jot it down wherever I am.

What Is Your Best Writerly Moment?

My best writerly moment was winning the Glastonbury Festival Poetry Slam (I am the current champion. There was no festival last year so the title is mine for two years! I am really milking it!)

I was up against 17 other accomplished performance poets and after three heats, made it through to the final. My opponent was Lisa Goodwin, who had blown me away with her spectacular performance at the Glastonbury Bardic Trials a year or two earlier. I was one of the judges and gave her top marks in most categories. So when we met backstage before the slam began, we both said “Oh no! I am up against YOU!” And lo! It came to pass, we were head-to-head in the final! The scores were so close but I just pipped her to the post.

The prize (apart from the kudos, that is) is a free ticket and a slot at the next festival, and a unique handmade medal which weighs a ton.

Not A Lot Of People Know…

…that I am a recovering Scrabble addict. I began playing online with my sisters who live in other areas of the country; then with friends on Facebook, then with random strangers online, until I realised I was spending so much time playing that I had to give it up completely. Cold turkey. Don’t ever ask me for a game, OK?

Thank you, Jackie for finding the time to chat to us. Readers, you can find out more about Jackie and her work on her website.

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