Describe yourself in 3 words…

Creative, talkative, irritating.

What inspires you?

History, culture and weird lore. I’m also very inspired by mediocrity. Part of me thinks, “Well, I can definitely do better than that,” which fires me up to do my thing.

Tell us about your worst ever gig?

I’ve only done a handful of poetry gigs and they’ve all been lovely. But my grand return to the stage was a disaster. I corpsed. For ages. I never used to forget lines, and was always able to improvise if anyone else did. It was humiliating, and I’m still haunted by it.

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

Poems that are basically blog posts. Where’s the poetry?

Whose words do you love at the moment?

In poetry, fellow Cypriot Anthony Anaxagorou. In prose, Ann Patchett, always. I just don’t know how she captures humanity so well, seemingly effortlessly.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Write the things you most want to write, that express who you are, not what you think is expected of you.

What’s your favourite dessert?

Melomakarona — a Christmastime treat we have in Greece and Cyprus. It’s a soft biscuit made with orange, cinnamon and cloves, soaked in syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts.

About Polis Loizou

Polis is a Cypriot author, playwright, poet, performer and oral storyteller. His debut novel was long-listed for Polari First Book Prize. He lives in Nottingham.

Polis is part of Future Voices. Find out more about the project here:

Insta: @polisloizou

Twitter: @PolisLoizou