University Graduate Releases First Poetry Collection
Thursday, 02 February 2023
A former University of Worcester student, who became the youngest ever Worcestershire Poet Laureate last year, has published her first collection of poetry.
Rhianna Levi’s book Mortal Veins features poems that look at aspects of humanity and emotions.
“It’s going really well, it’s selling well across the country which is great for a debut,” she said. “It’s great having your own collection in the world and that people are really enjoying it. It’s very inspiring to me as a writer to see that.”
Rhianna became the youngest Worcestershire Poet Laureate last June at just 23 years old. Although she has had many individual poems published, and in her role as Poet Laureate has been commissioned to write pieces, this is the first book of her work. The 32 poems explore a variety of topics, including ‘Forever Fresh Acorns’, a poem that uses acorns as a metaphor to look at mental health issues. Another, titled ‘Soul Departed’, explores grief and its complexities, and how people can be affected by loss differently. One poem, ‘Solstice Snow’, was inspired by attending a Winter Solstice event at Worcester’s Fort Royal Park last month.
“A lot of my poetry explores humanity and its complexity, and not just the social issues, but also the good side of humanity,” said Rhianna, 24, of Worcester. “I take inspiration from the things around me; experiences I’ve had or other people have had plays a big role and giving a voice to different people. I like to use nature in my poems. I like to learn about language and play with it and go out of my comfort zone in my poetry, even using words I haven’t used or seen before. That’s a lot of what poetry is about, it’s exploring life but also exploring the different elements of language.”
Rhianna, who chose to self-publish, did an undergraduate degree in English Literature, before a PGCE in Secondary English, followed by a PG Certificate in Tutoring and Coaching, all at the University of Worcester.
The former John Masefield High School pupil, who grew up in Ledbury, is currently doing her doctorate on PSHE and citizenship education in secondary schools with Birmingham City University. Alongside this she works as a cover teacher in various schools. She is also an active member of the spoken word scene in Worcester.
In post as Poet Laureate for a year until June, Rhianna said she had really enjoyed her time so far in the role, which had enabled her to take part in many events, make a difference and get inspiration for further writing. Long term she would like to continue teaching, but also build a career as a poet through her writing, by getting more work published.
“Even though poetry is usually shorter than a novel it still packs a lot of emotion, a lot of complexity,” she added. “You are able to connect with people through it. Poetry speaks to me on a different level, and I like to be challenged.”
Rhianna’s poetry collection is available to purchase on Amazon.