Megan Falley is a twenty-year-old poet and is the co-founder of the touring group, SPEAK LIKE A GIRL. She is also the creator of the online writing course, Poems that Don’t Suck, and her YouTube videos have collectively reached over one million views. She was born in New York and has lived there throughout her life. She is currently based in Colorado, but tours frequently.
Falley has always been a writer and an obvious performer but discovered spoken word in 2006, her freshman year of college.
“I sort of stumbled into it. I thought spoken word and poetry slam were synonyms for awhile. I loved the art form, my college had a poetry slam team, the people participating were awesome and inspiring, so I gave it a go. I made the team,” Falley said.
Falley does not believe in writer’s block and encourages her students to dispel the myth of writer’s block as well.
“While there are times I do not write much, I don’t think it’s because of a “block.” Moreso its lack of time, or laziness, or not committing myself to what I love, prioritizing other things,” Falley said. “Runner’s don’t have “runners block” – just periods when they are not running. I think writing is similar. Inspiration is in whatever gives you a big feeling – anger, sadness, joy, fear, sexual feelings — it’s all around, you just have to tap into what moves you.”
Her go-to writing essential is coffee and typically starts her process with stream-of-consciousness writing.
“Notice the tiniest details. Say the thing that only I could say, because only I saw it. Write quickly at first, without much thinking, get as much down as possible — THEN go back to chisel the stone,” Falley said.
Falley can often take long breaks between writing poems to work on other things like memoir, screenplays, touring, ukulele, and redecorating her house. She is always the happiest to create and writers quicker than others.
“My pace with writing a poem is really annoying to some of my fellow writer peers because I write freakishly fast. It spills out of me, usually in less than 40 minutes. I admire writers who take months on a piece, but that’s never been my mojo,” Falley said. “How often I write is a different story. There have been months when I write a poem a day, and in 2014 I wrote a poem EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR… it varies.”
Much like other poets, Falley’s personal favourite is usually the poem she is feeling the most emotionally at the time.
“Right now I have a piece called “The Theory of Evolution” about cell phone/social media addiction and the conflict materials involved in cell phones that I feel FURIOUS as I read it — and it feels good, as a person socialized female, to really get MAD. It’s not an emotion we’re allowed as much in this society, and it’s cathartic AF to just FEEL it. I want to smash all the cellphones in the audience after I read it,” Falley said.
Falley’s favourite aspect of her writing career is collaborating with other artists and expanding her platform.
“I got to perform with Sharon Olds, who is my favorite poet of all time. She gifted me a pink plastic spoon and pink plastic bag she got in the airport. She is such a quirky delightful genius hero. I’ve gotten to be on TV a couple of times on TV One’s Verses and Flow. I’ll also be opening for Mary Lambert this month! Oh, and I met my partner through poetry, so I’d say that’s pretty cool,” Falley said.
While competing in slams has given Falley many opportunities, it has also given her a lot of grief.
“Sometimes the competition continues on between poets outside of the scorecards by the judges, and that’s when grief sets in,” Falley said.
Falley encourages young writers to bring water and their authentic, honest personalities to poetry slams.
“Trust your voice. Show up as honestly as possible. We need to have discussion, not a mass of folks who think identically. At the same time, LISTEN to others. Be compassionate with others and yourself. Don’t compromise who you are to fit in. We need YOU, exactly as you are. There’s that quote — be you because everyone else is already taken, or something. Don’t be afraid to bring your joy to the mic, your love poems to the mic, your celebration to the mic. Slams and open mics are better when we can experience the wide range of humanity. Screw what scores well,” Falley said.
Falley has two full-length collections, After the Witch Hunt (2012) and Redhead and the Slaughter King (2014), published on Write Bloody Publishing. She also has a chapbook, Bad Girls, Honey – Poems about Lana Del Rey (2016), published on Tired Hearts Press. Her next full-length collection is slated to be published with Write Bloody in Fall 2018. You can also purchase these books on Amazon as well.