Describe yourself in 3 words…

I asked one of my best friends to help, here’s the product:

“ginger, approachable, and you’ve got an artistic mind”

(Thanks, Nell)

What inspires you?

People. I feel most inspired when I’m seeing, listening or reading from/about people who are really passionate about their craft, watching art that holds really strong emotions, or is done exceptionally well. 

Tell us about your worst ever gig?

My worst fear before a gig is forgetting words, but I prefer having nothing in my hands and can blank when I panic, so that’s happened a couple of times over the years now, even small audiences for performances and gigs I think there’s something to learn from – but I feel uncomfortable when there’s an audience of a few people and a really large stage – it feels isolating

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

I dislike blanket ranking different poetry styles to decide what is ‘good’ and what isn’t. 

Whose words do you love at the moment?

Bodhan Piasecki – ‘Almost Certainly’ 

Ocean Vuong

Kae Tempest 

Harry Baker

I’ve also been away from Bristol for too long, so I’m hugely missing hearing friends perform, especially Emma Taylor  

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

Find what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Hold onto it for as long as it serves you, and let it go when it no longer does. Being worried about the future does nothing to reduce the worry you feel when you get there and it probably makes it worse! 

What is your top tip to stay toasty warm in the Winter time?

All the blankets, and double up your socks and jumpers. 

About Elena Chamberlain

Elena is a queer writer, theatre-maker and performance poet from the Midlands. Elena’s writing explores the mundane and the weird, coupled with a love of movement. She is part of the Future Voices South West cohort, and has previously been longlisted for the Outspoken prize for poetry (2023). Their favourite creative experiences are ones that involve collaboration, smiles, and preferably biscuits. 

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

Insta: @arspoeticel