William Saint George is the pen name of Jesse Jojo Johnson, a Computer Science undergraduate at KNUST and an active freelance photographer and blogger. He blogs at: http://williamsaintgeorge.blogspot.com/
Five Questions with William:
1. How long have you been writing poetry?
I wrote my first poem in JSS 1. The year must be 2002, but I've been writing prose for a very long time now, probably as far back as 1998.
2. Who are your favourite poets? Which poets have most informed and inspired your work?
That's an easy one! My first loves were Percy Shelley, John Keats and Lord Byron. I first fell in love with the English Romantics, and I generally adore their work. They still inspire most of my pieces. Besides them, I'll name Ezra Pound, Edgar Allen Poe and Sylvia Plath as my few American favourites.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with your poetry?
Poems touch and inspire us in ways prose cannot. I wish my poetry will touch and inspire the many minds that read them.
4. You run a blog, http://seriouspoetry.wordpress.com/, in which you write poetry criticism. This seems to be a rare habit among young writers. What drew you to establish that blog, and to write prose on the subject of poetry?
When I finally acknowledged that I was into poetry for good, I felt I will have a stronger impact in shaping Ghana's "poetic thought" by not only writing poetry, but by writing about poetry. I felt it was the next step in the long journey towards artistic expression.
5. Do you think that poetry can have a significant influence on the culture of Ghana? The political culture? If so, how?
With the work of many budding poets and "poet-ish" artists in Ghana, I think the future is bright. Yet somehow, I still feel that poetry will remain partly hidden in the shadows, and rightly so. Not many people (can) appreciate good poetry, and it should not be watered down by commercialization. It will have a significant influence on some small aspects of Ghanaian culture, but only so far.