First Language(s): Swedish, Portuguese
Second Language(s): English, French
Leah Soeiro is a visual artist, writer and translator based in Paris. She has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University in Kent. She is the current treasurer of Paris Lit Up and art editor for the magazine by the same name. She runs a creative writing workshop together with the writer Chris Newens. Her poems have been published in Sunbow zine, Feast and other smaller publications. She is currently working on a novel.
What was your favorite book as a child?
In fact, I absolutely loathed reading up until I was nine or ten years old, I much preferred playing outside to sitting cooped up with a book. It wasn’t until I was given a chest of books by Margit Sandemo that I discovered the adventure that could be found in words. I devoured the 47-volume story The Legend of the Ice People (Sagan om Isfolket) and it was as though something was unlocked in me from that moment onwards. Reading became an active occupation — I would take the books with me into the forest and read and play at the same time. I learned it was transcendental. It was magic.
What was the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I don’t attribute any one day or moment to what can only be described as a lifelong need. I have been writing for as long as I can remember, since long before I could even read or write myself. Bukowski called it something that burns inside of you. For me it wasn’t so much a burning as it was a tingling. A tingling in my fingers which told me that this was the only way for me, that it always would be. My father passed away when I was nine, and he left behind him the unfulfilled desire to be a writer. After that, his legacy became my own.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
I think falling in love. There is immortality in that.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
I only ever listen to music if I get very stuck in my writing. When working on a longer project as I am now it can sometimes help in making the writing less mechanical, and it can kickstart the flow again when things seem to be getting stuck in the mud. When working on a novel it can sometimes feel as though the true writing is becoming almost secondary to the planning and plotting of events. When that happens I stick “The Sinking of the Titanic” on by Gavin Bryars. The true words usually come back after that. But I try to be careful with music. It already has a very strong emotional pulse by itself and sometimes that pulse doesn’t translate well into writing.
Reducing the focus/Après Rimbaud
Issue Spring '23