Anthology Interview: Marcelle Morris

To celebrate the February 26th launch of our anthology, we're sharing interviews with a few featured artists. Below we interview Marcelle Morris, a writer based in Boise.

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GS&NS: Hi, Marcelle! Please introduce yourself to GS&NS readers.

Marcelle: My name is Marcelle and I am from the United States and live in Boise, Idaho. My art form of choice is writing. I write because it is therapeutic and keeps me out of the insane asylum. I enjoy writing short stories but recently decided that I would try and write a novella.  I hope to have a draft ready by the end of the year. I have a book of short stories on Amazon.  I like to call it a labor of life lessons even though the stories are mostly fiction. My book is called The Journey.  

GS&NS: You mentioned in our previous interview that your poem, “A Night To Remember”, was based on an event from your youth. What does writing about it now accomplish for you personally (and perhaps even in a larger sense)?

Marcelle: A Night To Remember was based on an event from my past and the reason I wrote the poem was to free myself. I think when something tragic happens, we are hesitant to talk about it. A lot of the hesitation comes out of fear that we might be judged because of that event or receive blame for something that might not even be our fault. I am a bit older now and I felt holding onto something that happened 20 plus years ago really wasn’t accomplishing anything positive. I think if anything, it holds a person (me) back. By discussing the event, even in a creative way, was paramount to letting go. Maybe someone can learn from it and learn to move on.  

As far as a larger sense, I don’t have a larger plan beyond freedom.  Freedom from the offense and freedom from the offender.

GS&NS: “A Night To Remember” addresses critical issues (consent and sexual violence) related to Feminism and women’s rights. Would you consider your poem political and would you consider yourself a political writer? 

Marcelle: I had to laugh at your question. I don’t consider myself political. I consider myself more of an antagonist. My poem might seem political but that really wasn’t the intent. I wanted people to question. I wanted people to think and ask, “Why?”

I like to think everything I write creates some sort of question(s). Whether that is wrong, right or otherwise is not really for me to decide. I want the readers to decide for themselves.

I think there is still a long way to go in terms of women’s rights and the line between consent and sexual violence. I also think there is a lot to be discussed in terms of what constitutes feminism and women’s rights. When the day comes that women truly have a say over their own bodies, thoughts and words without fear from others, then that will truly be something to behold. 

GS&NS: I loved when you said, “I am a writer. I don't consider myself to be a perfect writer.” Why is it important for you to make that distinction? 

Marcelle: It is important to make a distinction between being a writer and a “perfect” writer because of the craft of writing; mechanic, perfect grammar and punctuation.  

My belief is that anyone and everyone can be a writer. It is all about what you want to do with it.  

Writing can be a tool or it can be a sword. People have and should have a voice and be able to use it. There are some that want to focus on the mechanics of writing and then there are those who want to have a voice. If you are blessed with both, great, as I think both are important but I find joy in those that have something to say and can express it well and sometimes the mechanics get in the way. I am not saying mechanics are not important because they are important, however, you can learn grammar and punctuation but truly having something to say, making things visual, warm, tumultuous, exciting and drawing in the reader is something entirely different.  

Sometimes it is more important to write versus getting caught up in the details.  As the writing progresses as do the mechanics.  I prefer to focus on one thing at a time which are the words and the story.  Word are powerful and can have an incredible impact.  Mechanics give the extra spice. 

GS&NS: What advice would you give to emerging writers? 

Marcelle: The biggest piece of advice I would give an emerging writer is the same advice that was given to me, “Just write.”  

The advice I would give to my 18-year-old self is, “Don’t be so serious, take more risks while you are young and don’t be so afraid to put your writing out there.” And most importantly, “Learn to laugh it off.”