PEACH x QM Arts Society present: Creator of the Month – Alexandra Craveiro
We are so excited to introduce our April Creators of the Month! Every month, we will be spotlighting creators from the QM student community across different art forms. Our April Creators of the Month are the incoming Editor in Chief and Deputy Editor of the 2021/22 PEACH Team, Maya Barter and Alexandra Craveiro!
Scroll down to check out our interview with Alexandra and to read more about her and her work!
Alexandra Craveiro (she/her):
I’m Alexandra, a Portuguese second-year Drama student. I am more of a writer than anything else. My writing has a particular focus on poetry and playwriting as those two forms have given me the most freedom in expressing different experiences and emotions that I have found hard to process or talk about in any other way through different voices. My writing tends to have quite a lot of natural, celestial and abstract imagery and deals with topics such as loss, self-acceptance, female bodies and experiences, love and mental health. I have been writing for years but have only managed to better find my voice this past year with so much time to explore my practice in quarantine.
Congratulations on your election as the incoming Deputy Editor of PEACH and on being chosen as one of the Creators of the Month! Your bio states that you are attracted to poetry and playwrighting because they offer ‘freedom in expressing different experiences and emotions that [you] have found hard to process or talk about in any other way.’ What is it about poetry and playwrighting that you feel offers this freedom?
Thank you so much! I am so excited to take on this role next year and keep PEACH a safe space for all creatives! I think poetry in particular has been such an important form for me this past year and it has found its way into my playwriting. There’s something so powerful about the possibility of conveying parts of my experiences or myself through personified imagery and manipulation of language that offers a safe space for me to express myself. I believe, particularly, the fact that I can paint emotions and moments through words, structures and different rhythms without having to open up so literally has made it even more enjoyable for me. I can lay my whole heart on the page whilst still allowing the reader to find their own personal connection with the poem. It is both a medium of self-expression and supporting others. For this reason, it has merged with my playwriting within dialogues and monologues. This merge has been so incredibly powerful as it has enabled me to develop characters and their voices much more clearly. It has given my plays more depth and created moments for self-reflection even with a character you might not particularly identify with.
Your bio also says that you have been ‘writing for years but have only managed to better find [your] voice thus past year’ during the lockdowns. What process(es) do you feel you went through to find this voice?
I used to often imitate or adapt writing styles by known poets and playwrights and this always felt dishonest to me. Being in lockdown forced me to have a lot of alone time with thoughts and emotions that I had suppressed for a while. To finally have to face them and reflect on myself was the first step into finding my own voice. I believe the key aspect in this process was starting to journal again. I used to be very afraid of journalling and would get demotivated with just the thought of being honest with myself – this all changed this past year. I would very often write a stream of consciousness entry in my journal where I would allow myself to feel and think about whatever it was I had been suppressing. Once this became a more recurring thing for me, writing became easier and more honest as I became less afraid of feeling it all. I fell in love with my own inner voice and started using it all the time. Journalling was a process of self-acceptance and discovery for me, I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with their own mind or their craft.
As both a poet and a playwright, what is it about ‘natural, celestial and abstract imagery’ that you feel embodies ‘loss, self-acceptance, female bodies, experiences, love and mental health’?
I have always found those themes very hard to express and come to terms with maybe due to the pressures and hardships associated with each of them. I started using natural, celestial and abstract imagery in my own work as I felt those were just as hard to understand yet so easy, through visual cues and connotations, to help explain those themes in particular. To me, the cyclical, unknown and the unexplainable elements of our world helps me make more sense of human experience and put it into perspective. It is always funny to me that the way different trees (their thickness, their height, what their leaves look like, etc.) look in an incredibly large forest can spark a more reflective conversation on self-acceptance than simply attempting to come to terms with it alone. There is something about everything around us (whether that be tangible or not) that makes me it easier to reflect on topics that sometimes feel draining to talk about so literally.
Where would you like to see your writing go beyond now? This can be answered in regard to both career trajectories or/as well as style and personal development.
In terms of style, two of my aims are to explore the possibilities of different types of rhyme in poems and master the Villanelle form which I adore. I love different poetic forms and how they can further the meaning in a poem, to continue writing, however, I need to remain emotionally open. For this reason, my goal for myself is to not shy away from connecting with elements of myself that I tend to avoid. For my career, I am an aspiring playwright and want my writing one day to reach a larger audience on different stages. Finally, it one of my dreams to publish my own poetry collection one day.
Finally, as the incoming Deputy Editor of PEACH, what are you hoping to bring to your time at PEACH as both a writer and a principal officer?
As a writer, I am looking to expand and consistently motivate members to push their creative boundaries and experiment with different writing forms in their own time and for PEACH collections by hosting regular workshops. I would be more than willing to host a scene-writing workshop if that is something PEACH members would be interested in. Most importantly, as a Deputy Editor, my main goal will always to keep PEACH a safe and inclusive space for anyone who needs it to be. I am aiming to hold special events and workshops during Liberation months and awareness days to give our members a chance to connect with themselves deeper and learn something new about the world and the people around them.
Close My Eyes – a poem about the connection and communication I still share with my late grandfather through dreams.
Transition into Spring – a more simple poem I wrote recently to explore the Haiku form. It’s meant to explore the transition in my mental health through the arrival of spring.
You can also find Alexandra’s work in our most recent print-edition, here!