I want to paint imagery with words – Jenim Dibie

Scarcast is a collection of poems written by Jenim Dibie. The pharmacist-turned poet, who started writing at age 14, started with rhyme and overtime built it into something else. She speaks to OYELOLA OGUNRINDE on why she likes poetry

What is Scarcast about and why the title Scarcast?
It’s a collection of sixty poems and ‘Scarcast’ was a word I formed through the process of my writing.

How many years did it take you to write that?
From 2011 till now, I have written over three hundred poems, but I couldn’t put the whole three hundred poems in a book so I choose sixty.

Why poetry?
I think that is where I started my art from. You take a word and you string it into another word. Most times I feel there is a sea in me wanting to burst. I longed to draw for years, but I still don’t know how to. I wanted to paint imagery with words.

What did you study in school?
Pharmacy, but I am not practicing though I went into cosmetology. I am currently going into full time writing now because I am working on my first novel because this is what I am good at. It took time for me to get a publisher to get interest in it. Most of the publishers are actually not interested in poetry; they want stories in a novel form. Write-ideas services was willing to help publish it.

How have you being able to combine cosmetology with writing?
Cosmetology is what puts money into my pocket at least to sustain me. After I studied Pharmacy at University of Lagos, I went into Cosmetology but I was still writing. I still created time for myself out of busy schedules to write.

What is your writing process like? Do you have a routine?    
No I don’t. Anything inspires me. I just see a word or a dress and it inspires me. Some poems take me longer hours to write. I don’t have any fixed time that I am supposed to write; I just write when the inspiration flows over me.

What was your parents’ response to becoming a poet?
Like I told you, I have being writing since I was 14. They didn’t really know, just my siblings knew because they read my works and they are my number one fans. They critic my work telling me what they like about it and what they don’t. Overtime in 2007, I posted poems on my blog and when they saw it, they supported me all through.

What are your poems based on? Is it your personal view or another’s experience you write about?
I write the way I view things, but I also look into the community I live or look around to find something that amazes me or I ponder about. I also write to give me freedom.

What do you think about Nigeria’s publishing Industry?
Tough. That is only what I can say about it.

Were you involved in the editing of your work?    
Yes, I was fully involved. Some of the poems had to be reduced. It took close to three months because the poems moved from me back to the editor and from the editor back to me. We had to both agree that this was it before it was published.

What next are you working on?
My novel. It has a little thriller and romance in it.

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