I was really uncertain about today’s NaPoWriMo prompt. I’ve never really written a fan letter, never mind one in the form of a poem. It took me a while to even pick a person that I wanted to write about. In the end I came up with three people, Neil Gaiman [one of my all time favourite writers], Sarah Kay [an amazing spoken word poet], and Lilly Singh otherwise known as Superwoman [comedian, YouTuber and all round spreader of joy]. These are the three people who’s videos, articles and bodies of work I turn to when I’m stuck for inspiration or just having a bad day. Therefore, if I was going to write a fan letter to anyone, it had to be them. A bit of a long one I’m afraid but it could really be split into three.
I. Neil Gaiman
I stumbled into your writing on a Saturday.
Whitchurch, W H Smiths,
the only bookshop in the town at that time
and a hardback copy of ‘The Graveyard Book’
just there on the shelf.
I had never heard of you.
I picked the book partly because it didn’t fit
with the rest in the shop,
a little bit odd in comparison,
and I knew I had to own a copy.
I haven’t stopped reading you since.
When I decided I wanted to write for more than fun
I turned to your interviews on YouTube
looking for advice.
You have never let other put you into a box.
There are stories long and short,
for young and old.
A Neil Gaiman book is a Neil Gaiman book
because it says so
not because it reads so.
I realised then I didn’t have to pick
between the things I love.
II. Sarah Kay
University introduced me to spoken word.
I learnt that poems could be lifted off the page.
You had this way with words,
a way at looking at the world,
a mastery of phrase I wanted for myself.
I go back and listen to your poems
when my own
get stuck somewhere in the back of my throat.
I choose random pages from your book
and just start reading.
I learnt to loosen my style,
worry less about how it went down
and more about what it said.
I learnt another way of writing poems.
III. Lilly Singh
‘A Trip To Unicorn Island’
is on my GooglePlay wishlist
and I subscribe
to both your channels.
I have this obsession with your motivation
and as a result
I’ve become a far more productive person.
You are funny and kind and best of all
You do not feel the need to explain yourself
or bow to any expectations.
You work hard and encourage other people
to do just the same.
If we ever meet,
I’d love to buy you a cup of tea
because sometimes I think,
the only reason by book is even half-way done,
is because of how much
your positivity inspires me.