Author Profile - Mariska Taylor-Darko


Born in Manchester, England in 1956, Mariska attended Holy Child Secondary School in Cape Coast and St. Mary's Secondary School, Mamprobi, Accra. She then returned to the UK and attended Beresford College of English and Commerce, Margate, Kent and later Harrow College of Further Education, Harrow, Middlesex. She has a PhD in Life.

She has two sons, Niinoi and Kwame. She is a motivational speaker, poet, writer, beautician, fire walker and lover of jazz, blues, reggae and old time highlife.

Five Questions with Mariska Taylor-Darko:

1. This poem ends with the beautiful image of the speaker pouring sand on their feet. Did you write this poem while on the beach, or soon after, or did you draw it up from memory?

I wrote this from memory not long after being at the beach.

2. In what locations do you find poems most often "come to you"? Here I don't mean the writing/editing process, but the burst of inspiration, the new idea...

No particular location. It's more likely to be from events I've attended or taken part in.

3. Your last poem on our site, "The Deer Hunt", was the subject of an essay by Dela Bobobee as part of our "How Poems Work" series. How did this make you feel? Did you see the poem in new or different ways afterward?

I must admit that I was proud of myself. I never thought a poem that I wrote straight from the heart could give so much information (to the point that it could be used as an educational piece), and that someone with Dela Bobobee's experience would find so much to write about the poem. I respect the poem more now and visualize it being used to help others understand poetry.

4. Hard to believe, but it's been almost four years since your first poem, "Sway", appeared on OGOV. How do you think your writing has changed in the four years you've been contributing to OGOV?

I find I am more critical of myself and at the same time more confident that others would enjoy what I write. I am proud to belong to such a talented group because I know I can only get better.

5. In the same sense as the last question, how do you think the poetry community in Ghana has changed in the last four years?

The poetry community has grown wings... So many reading and performing groups springing up, more youth interested in poetry, more willing to accept criticism and more women coming out to give performances. Even corporate bodies are sponsoring events that have poets on the programmes. It can only get better.

Contact Mariska:

Email: mariska.taylor(at)
Alternate Email: arabataylord(at)
Websites: African Woman's Poetry, Mariska's MySpace Page

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