Lisa Reily is a former literacy consultant, dance director and teacher. She recently won First Prize in the Earlyworks Press Poetry Competition 2019. Her piece, ‘Ayu’s Fish Pond’, can be found in EPOCH Issue 01: Beginnings, available to purchase here.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am currently budget-travelling with my partner, Ion and I am always inspired by our travels and the changing scenery it offers. This includes the general landscape of what I see around me as we move from place to place, the subtle differences, changes of season, people, the beauty of nature and the animals we encounter. I tend to write when I feel a strong emotional response to something. For example, when I was in Bali, I was really affected by a Balinese cremation ceremony. In Greece, I was overwhelmed by the philoxenia of the Greek people we met. It can be a single, simple moment or experience, too.
Why do you write/create Creative Non-Fiction?
I love the beauty, incongruence and fragility of real life, so I like to write about real-life experiences of love, relationships, life and loss. I am also deeply affected by injustice, and the mistreatment of animals, so I write about these things, too – although I’ve discovered most people would prefer not to hear about them!
These days, I find most fictional stories and movies too shallow. I appreciate real people with real stories — not the Hollywood version of them. Moving away from what, say, celebrities are up to, to the real world, the whole world — of suffering, joy, beauty and humanness. I think there are enough interesting and different people, places, histories and traditions to learn about without having to invent trite scenarios or make things up.
What are you reading now?
I tend to flick around a lot and read bits and pieces from anywhere and everywhere. I read daily about animal welfare and animal issues around the world. I have lately been reading poems from various poets, such as Philip Larkin, Adelio Prado, Xiao Yue Shan, and Pablo Neruda. I also really like Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who tells and writes about myths and old tales. I love how she uncovers the deep psychology of old stories; this really appeals to me.
Where can we follow you and find your work?
You can find me at: lisareily.wordpress.com