Interview with Saroya Marsh

Everybody meet the wonderful Saroya Marsh, a poet who defends and represents the voices of those who’ve been silenced. Saroya, placing second at the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam, is an artist that moves mountains with honest words.

We had the honor to ask Saroya a.k.a. “Roya” a few questions about poetry, process, and womanhood. Enjoy!


Spit Journal: What does it mean to be both woman and poet?

Saroya Marsh: The only connection I know to exist between woman and poet is inside of my body and the bodies of those who identify the same. I think of the word woman and how it is always used in comparison to male privilege and magic.  This hampers on the woman’s ability to simply be human and treated as such. I think of the word poet and how it is always used in comparison with writers of the past. This hampers on the poet’s ability to simply be honest and write as such. To be both woman and poet is to wage war against the glass ceiling stifling our uniqueness. To be open and honest is a genuine human obligation that not many choose to accept.

SJ: What would you say was your favorite experience at WOWPS 2015?

Marsh: My favorite experience at WOWPS 2015 was definitely being on stage. There were several moments, no matter the venue, where I could feel the crowd in my bones. Having that many people willing to hear what I have to say was the most amazing feeling in the world.

SJ: Create your best metaphor to describe your relationship between you and writing

Marsh: For me, writing is as necessary as breathing.

SJ: If you can meet one poet, any poet, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Marsh: If I were able to meet any poet it would undoubtedly be Audre Lorde. I would love to converse and witness a life lived with such freedom. Most of my recent writing and its nature of honesty is a direct result of her influence. There’s so much more to learn from a physical being than there is from a book or documentary.

SJ: Can you describe your personal writing process when creating a new poem?

Marsh: My writing process starts with a thought, quote, or anger. It truly depends on the inspiration. But it’ll take me a day to write a piece and to realize how I want it to sound, including revisions. I can have a thought in the shower, on the toilet, while on the phone or walking. I pause whatever is going on to get that thought out. It’s pretty much a battle between my mind and my everyday life, haha! But I love it!

SJ: What advice can you give beginning poets who are afraid to speak about their personal lives or their thoughts on political issues?

Marsh: Any advice I have for beginning poets would be a little shaky as I am still learning to speak out myself. I think, when it’s what you really want to do and when it becomes your medicine, both your own healing and that of others, then it’s just a bit less impossible.

 Poets Bio:

Saroya Marsh is the author of the chapbook Not All of Me Shall Die. She works as a preschool teacher and youth mentor, but has always had a passion for writing. As a spoken word poet she brings a heartfelt intensity and deep beliefs to the stage, brandishing a saber of light that will penetrate those dark pockets of prejudice, injustice, and hurt, that lay buried deep within each of us.

Saroya was a finalist in the 2013 Poetry Idol, 2013 Inspired Word Slam Master Jam Champion, 2014 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion and captain of the first all female slam team in the tristate area, representing Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Saroya has recently been ranked second in the nation at the Woman of the World Poetry Slam. She has been featured at many venues and colleges around the country.


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