Hi everyone, today’s interview is really special. The author whom you are going to witness is an incredibly skilled person. Despite being diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, when doctors said that she would never be able to walk and talk, it is truly inspiring and impressive how she had overcome her difficulties and numerous obstacles with her no-fear attitude. Her book, ‘Burnt Bones and Beautiful Butterflies,’ is a collection of her poems, through which she hopes to encourage others to subdue their barriers in life. I am so grateful that I got this opportunity of interviewing her. “Having a limitation does not mean you aren’t capable of greatness.” Hereby presenting the full Interview with supremely motivating Jerusha Mather. Get Inspired!!
•Hi Jerusha, can you please introduce yourself so that the audience can know you better.
I am a poet from Melbourne, Australia. I was born in Sri – Lanka where the doctors said I would never walk and talk. My family and I came to Australia when I was two years old and through the rehabilitation therapy I received here in Australia, I learnt to walk and talk. I am also a PhD student at Victoria University investigating strength training and non invasive brain stimulation in adults with cerebral palsy.
•Do you think you were meant to be a poet?
Yes, I have always loved poetry in school and thus, I think I was meant to be a poet. I think I have been gifted in the ability to craft poetry that everyone can enjoy and relate to.
•How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I started writing poetry in primary school. I was invited to a poetry workshop and I discovered that I had talent in the area of poetry through the person running that workshop. In high school, my teacher and I started a poetry club and we would sit and chat about poetry at lunchtime.
I also loved reading and I used to go to the library every often when I was young. That is probably where I picked my writing skills. But my ideas are from my own unique experiences and eyes.
•Who are some of your biggest influences in your poetry?
My parents first and foremost.
However definitely Rupi Kaur. She is my inspiration.
•Tell us about your first book? What was the journey like?
It was a exciting journey. At times, stressful and challenging but I made it. 😊 Many of poems touch on the hidden human aspects of life. It touches on elements of love, hurt, and happiness, and hints of my journey. If anything, I hope people can relate to my poetry and feel like they are never alone in their journey. My words are with them.
My book is currently ranked ten in the Poetry by Women section in Australia, which has been a amazing achievement. I am glad my hard work has paid off.
•How did you come up with the title for your book?
The idea came through a picture I had in my mind of my own journey. That something good can come out of our life’s challenges.
•How important is the accessibility of meaning? Should one have to work hard to “solve” the poem?
My poetry book is written relatively simple but elegant. It does tackle complex situations and makes awareness of the imperfections of the human condition. And I think that is what people love about my poetry and ensures accessibility to anyone.
•Do the Internet and social media contribute to the well-being of poetry?
From my experience, I think it does. I think generally people are beginning to love poetry. I think social media and the internet has given us a chance to be expressive in a truly free manner. That does come with a lot of uncertainty and criticism for some people, unfortunately.
•Do you have any particular audience in mind when you write?
I write for young people and adults. Particularly young women. I also write for myself. For the healing and letting go of all
the emotions on paper.
•What are you currently working on? Also, what are you reading at present?
I am also a neuroscientist / PhD student by morning so I do research and read a lot of strength training literature. I am currently working on a systematic review.
I have currently been reading a book called the boy that could not walk but run.
•How can people/readers contact you?
You can contact me via Instagram @jerushamather
•Your Favourite book
I have so many. But I really love ‘So much to tell you’ by John Marsden. It’s a really touching and thoughtful story. It is one that is close to my heart.
•If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
Probably Rupi Kaur. 😆😉
•What do you like to do when you are not writing?
•What’s your favourite food?
Anything to do with Potatoes!
•What advice would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Write free. Write from the heart. Be open and share your passion with the world. Also read quite a bit.
Tea or Coffee
Movie or Book
Summer or Winter
Twitter or Instagram
Paperback or e-book
Reading or Writing
Freedom or Hope
•And lastly, what do you see as the role of poet in modern-day society?
To bring the heart and soul to life and examine aspects of the mind in such a open and creative way. It must be deeply explored with clarity and truth.
Thank you Jerusha for your time.
All the best for your future projects.
Keep Shining Always!