Sienna Black is a young writer from the UK currently studying English at the University of Cambridge. Her poem ‘Measurements’ was longlisted for the Young Poets Network ‘After Sylvia’ poetry competition, and her work has appeared elsewhere in Spring Journal, Salt & Citrus Zine, Impspired, and CANVAS.
Sienna has been writing for as long as she can remember, however her writing improved the most through lockdown and with the help of some hugely supportive teachers in Sixth Form and College when she began writing poetry.
Now at university, Sienna is involved with running open mic nights and workshops through Blackbirds Poetry Society. She is also part of the editorial team for BAIT, a Cambridge-based arts magazine that aims to donate its profits to charity.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: I wouldn’t have to go too far back in time, as most of the writers I love are from the past century or so, but in no particular order: Elizabeth Bishop, Audre Lorde, Jean Rhys, James Baldwin and Joan Didion.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: It is not specifically a writing talisman, but I have a piece of tiger’s eye which I have carried with me almost everywhere since I was about eight years old. My father collects stones and crystals, and he carries Lapis Lazuli with him in a similar way. Both these habits I inherited from him before I fully understood them, but now I do. It’s comforting to feel joined to something.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: My favourite quotes change all the time, but right now it is a tie between ‘But the horse has trained itself well with terrible horselessness’ (from Shangyang Fang’s poem ‘It Is Sad to See a Horse Sleeping’), and ‘He says, “I don’t know what to say except I am sorry and I love.”’ (from Charles D’Ambrosio’s essay ‘Documents’).
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: Shapeshifting. I just love the idea that I could be anything or anyone I want, but still be able to return to myself.
Q: Who is your personal inspiration?
A: When I was younger I was obsessed with Audrey Hepburn films, if that counts? These days I’m not entirely sure!