Interview with Puno Selesho

Puno has written and performed poetry for 9 years on various platforms. She uses words to call out the beauty around her. Her aim is to restore dignity to the unseen and bring hope and healing to our nation.


How would you explain creativity to a 5-year-old?

Using the pictures, sounds, and letters in your mind to make something...anything...everything.

Why do you think creative thinking is important?

Creative thinking is the very thing that helps us progress as humans. Progress doesn't always mean the creation of something new but creative thinking helps us to develop and enhance ourselves and the world around us. Without it, we would be underdeveloped piles of potential.

What's your favourite misconception about the creative process?

That it is either chaotic or linear. It is neither and it is both. Yes. Exactly, it is whatever it needs to be, when it needs to be.

Describe your creative process

Hahahaha how dare you ask me such a tough question. Well, when an idea comes into my mind, I need to get it out on a piece of paper as quickly as possible. Whether it is an idea for a poem or a project, I just need to vomit whatever is in my mind, as is, either into my notes on my phone or into my Satori Notebook (see what I did there...) After that comes the process of refinement which involves many things e.g. thinking about the concept over and over and over until I am ready to re-engage with the page, being attentive to the world around me and absorbing as much as I can in order to enhance my concept, and talking to others about it. After that, I revisit my written thoughts and chisel and chip away.

Where do you get your best ideas?

Really really good books and peoples' pain (including my own).

What do you do when you get creative block?

I take a break and let the dark cloud pass. I really don't force through creative blocks. If I have a deadline but no new idea is coming, I just sift through the ideas I've already thought up but haven't developed yet. This is why it is important to keep a record of your thoughts. You have something to turn to when the dark cloud comes.

How does a notebook fit into your creative process?

Without it there is no process. Seriously. We have amazing brains but I would rather use mine (together with my heart) to create things than remember things. Once I start writing or sketching, that action in itself is a catalyst for more writing and sketching.

What are some essential tools in your creative process?

Lots of stationery, books, silence, nature, coffee.

What does your workspace usually look like when you're creating?

Multi-colour paper and books everywhere.

Name some people that have strongly influenced your work

Sylvia Plath, Angus and Julia Stone, Zama Jobe, HHP, God.

What would you change about the South African creative industry?

It shouldn't only be the special few that have the opportunity to make a living from creativity, everyone should have the option to. It should be so normal that one is not hungry to chase the spotlight and platforms but can choose which art they keep to themselves and which they would like to share with the market. We have a long way to go.

What were you most insecure about at the start of your career?

I hated the thought of writing anything that would be seen as cheesy/corny/cute.

Some advice for other creatives just starting out?

Keep going, don't always share your work (it is okay to create for the sake of creating) don't under charge (that's how we kill the industry) stay authentic (buzz word, but I mean it)

What's next for you? Any interesting projects, adventures, or aspirations...

OneWomanShow 2.0 (yay!) and I am officially a freelancer :D

You invent a company that uninvents things that currently exist. What are your top uninventions?

Television, Cellphones after Nokia 3310s


Where can people follow your work?

@punopolis on instagram or @punoseleshopoetry on Facebook