Episode 43: Nathan Nicolau – Mindfulness for poets

Nathan Nicolau was jobless and battling depression. He came close to taking his life, but then he began to fight back. During his recovery he discovered poetry, and started getting work accepted in journals and winning competitions. In this interview Nathan’s passion for poetry is evident as he offers advice and encouragement for anyone who writes or is going through hard times. Drawing on Buddhist philosophy, he shares practices which are great for writing and living.

Nathan’s mindfulness writing exercise

Take a walk somewhere, be it outside or just in your home. Observe objects for what they are, not what you think they are. For example, instead of seeing a couch as something you sit on, see the couch as it is. Perhaps how much it has sunken in overtime or how many people have sat on it appeals to you. Start writing a poem both describing that object and then reframe it to how it makes you feel.

Listen to the podcast to hear Nathan discuss this exercise and share examples of his work.

As always, please share your responses for possible inclusion on future podcasts or the blog. You can send poems here.

Nathan Nicolau is a writer/poet based in Charlotte, NC. Since his published debut in 2019, his poetry, essays, and fiction have been featured on multiple websites and magazines. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of New Note Poetry, an online poetry magazine. Find out more about him at nathannicolau.com

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