#PerfectPoem: ‘Winter Cold’ by Bella Cox

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Here’s what the current reigning Queen of the Mic Bella Cox had to say about her Perfect Poem Nomination, her secret to remaining consistent in the poetry industry and a word to her fans

1. What sort of investment/effort, emotionally and physically, went into this body of work?
This poem asked a lot of me in terms of honesty. I had to acknowledge and wrestle with the hypocrisy that it opened up within myself and really think about what these words and feelings meant on a wider world scale. It made me look at myself differently and confront some of the problematic ideas I realised I had been unknowingly carrying around with me and actually tackle them, not only for myself but for others like me.

2. What message does your poem carry? What sort of feedback do you usually receive from your audience in regards to this poem?
Winter Cold has had a lot of mixed reviews! From a woman in Durban welling up with tears and saying thank you to me for writing it and for addressing what is so often ignored, to a young man in Pretoria telling me it seemed too pandering, to a board of judges deciding to publish it in an anthology of South African poetry as highly commended. So I think it’s up for interpretation by the reader/listener, which I like.

3. What is your secret to longevity in the poetry industry, what keeps you writing and performing?
I write because I need to, for my own sanity. Whether I share the poems or not, they have and will be written because poetry is my favourite form of self-expression. I write to learn about myself, about the people and the world around me and to crystallise ideas before they pop and disappear in my mind. So my secret to keeping on writing… is keeping on writing!

4. If you win the Perfect Poem award, what would that mean to you?
If I were to win the Best Poem award I would be over joyed. It would prove that this poem that has so much of my soul in it is valued by a poetry board that I respect. It would also mean that the people voting who have read or heard it valued it enough to take the time to vote and that means so much to me.

5. Any words to your fans on why they should vote for you?
If my work made you think, feel or entertained you in any way then it is worth your vote 🙂

Bella has already proved herself by winning the ultimate slam at last season’s Poetry League Finale. Will the Queen bag another award on 11 Feb? If you think she deserves to, vote now.


Voting closes at 20:00 on Sun 5 Feb. You can vote once every hour. The 5th Word N Sound Awards will take place on Sat 11 Feb at the Market Theatre Lab in Newtown. Get all your event info here.

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