Jide Badmus is an electrical engineer. He is inspired by beauty and destruction; he believes that things in ruins were once beautiful.
Jide explores themes around sensuality and healing. His literary philosophy is wrapped around conceptual duality and brevity.
He is the author of There is a Storm in my Head, Scripture, and Paper Planes in the Rain.
He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. You can reach him on twitter @bardmus, IG @instajhide, & email firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviewer: Oyindamola Shoola
knowing the writer
How did you develop or find your interest in poetry?
I have been drawn to writing from childhood. We grew around books, with parents who loved the art of writing. Mum was co-author of a Geography textbook and Dad presented Urban planning and development related papers at different conferences.
I wrote stories in 2A exercise books as a kid and gave my parents, siblings and whoever came visiting to read. But I actually got drawn into the world of poetry reading my younger brother’s poems which he usually shared on his faculty noticeboard as a Law student.
What has writing poetry contributed to your life that other distinguished areas such as being an Electrical Engineer hasn’t given?
It is therapy for stress. It gives me the opportunity to interrogate self. It gave me another family.
Is writing personal to you and what does it mean to say writing is personal?
Yes, writing is personal. This means that whatever I write must first speak to me. Writing is my way of communicating with self and then to the world. It means, everything I write would have seeds of personal convictions and philosophies (even while being objective and logical). My pieces largely reflect what fascinates me or what irks me or my ideal world.
How have you combined your pursuit of God with poetry writing and is there any limit you have found yourself stretching or not reaching in this combination?
God is the core of my existence. Everything else I do seek to validate his relevance in my affairs. So, it means that I use poetry explore God; to access Him and express my doubts, fears and weaknesses. I suspect God is a poet; look around, everything he created is poetic.
What qualities do you possess that contributes to being an excellent writer and particularly, a poet?
I’m a good observer, more attracted to nuances; more interested in attributes and processes. I would like to think I am a deep thinker. I am a simple person and it reflects in my diction and style of writing.
The writer's inspiration
What inspires you to write?
Beauty and destruction (because things now in ruins were once beautiful).
What are you passionate about?
Love and Lust (both are inseparable in my opinion). Love equals humanity. I’m passionate about relationships (how we relate with God, family, lovers, leaders, followers, colleagues and strangers). Love of words
Which writers have been most influential to your writing? (Mention up to 5)
What challenges have you faced as a writer?
Balancing writing with work and family.
How have you challenged yourself as a writer?
I surround myself with growth-loving and ambitious writers, mostly younger than me. You get inspired in the midst of youth.
THE BOOK & WRITING PROCESS
At what point do you decide to write or collate your first anthology titled There is a Storm in My Head?
At a point, I was the only one who had access to more than 80% of my poems. I felt that there was no point to the gift if it wasn’t shared. Then I decided it was time to bless the world with the beauty poetry.
What did you intentionally do differently or improve on while working on your second book, Scripture and the co-authored anthology with Pamilerin Jacob titled Paper Planes in the Rain?
Most of the poems in There is a Storm in my Head were compiled to reflect different stages of literary growth; it majorly told a tale of ten years. For Scripture, there was a deliberate choice of theme and a specific period was dedicated to writing around that theme (although a couple of poems from old unpublished collections found their way into the book). It is basically the same process for Paper Planes in the Rain.
Which of your books influenced you the most or taught you the most about yourself?
How did you know or decide where to end your anthologies?
Every poem tells a tale; same way every book does. I approach wrapping up my anthologies the way I end my poems: they must have passed the message in full yet leave you craving more.
What criticism did you or do you have about your writings and published works?
My choice of theme; the person would have preferred that I wrote modern themes bordering on sexuality, feminism, migration etc.
Co-authoring Paper Planes in the Rain
What led to the collaboration with Pamilerin Jacob?
I can’t specifically recall what led to the collaboration. But one of my major plans for 2019 was to come together with other poets for poetic duets and other literary projects. I am fascinated by how, as poets, we can have basically the same thoughts but deliver them in a variety of ways. Perhaps we were just looking for a challenge
What was the collaboration process like?
It was beautiful. We established the themes we wanted to write on, then brought our ideas of title together and chose two; one as the title of the anthology and the other as the title of a jointly written poem. We set deadlines and set out to work checking on each other intermittently. It was really beautiful.
Did you have any concerns about the differences of your works and how it would blend in perfectly or did you think that the distinctiveness is what made it even more beautiful?
The beauty of contrasts is what we hoped would work in our favour. And the fact that we would appeal to a wider range of readership. It was an experiment that was worth it. Yes, we made a beauty.
What do you think are the top 3 focus, lessons or priorities that writers who are about to co-author books should know?
If there was one thing you would take back from the experience or do differently if given another opportunity, what would it be?
Perhaps we would have written a couple more poems together.
THE FUTURE PROJECTIONS
What plans do you have in the future with your writings and what impact do you hope that your works make?
I’m trying to give my own definition to poetry; make it enjoyable and accessible to all. I work on the emotions and ambience of my poems such that when you come in contact, it leaves a mark; inspires you to pick up a pen or drives you into a reflective zone.
What do you hope continues to inspire your writing in the future?
Everything! People, Nature, Relationships, Love, Money, Travels, Recognition…
What is the best advice that you have gotten as a writer?
The world around you is filled with imagery.
What advice would you give to writers that read this interview?
Study, read, write, edit, publish…don’t stop growing and don’t forget that growth is a process (sometimes painfully slow).
Are you working on another book, if yes, what should your readers be expecting?
I’m working on a couple of manuscripts Jagunlabi (a Chapbook) and Ode to Apostrophe
A compilation of poems on Coffee by several poets will be out by the end of July and Today, I choose Joy anthology, a manual of survival (poetry, fiction & nonfiction) is also in the works.