Batia is a writer of many things, poetry being her favourite. Born to an artist mother, she found herself gifted with words at an early age. Her work explores both the thrills and fragility of the human condition – those murky spaces where few dare tread. Batia’s free style imbues her writing with poignant images that are riveting and personal.
A feminist and humanitarian at heart, Batia writes on society and politics at On the line and manages a Facebook platform called Don’t Flatter Yourself – a body-positive initiative which tackles beauty stigmas and standards in the media. Batia has a diploma in copywriting and, when she isn’t raising controversial issues, spends her time working on her music blog.
Batia’s allows the words to choose themselves, then breathe a little, before making changes – a routine she believes preserves the roughness and authenticity of her work. Batia’s poetry is intended as a performance of uncensored expression rather than as poised literature – and that’s exactly how she likes it. She feels artists can destroy a wonderful messiness in their work by over embellishing or ironing out too many kinks. Batia admits that her most memorable writings are the ones which she spent very little time correcting. “When it comes to writing poetry, my method is entirely different to when I write copy.”
Batia’s signature is her wonderful use of rhythm – a quality that comes naturally to her – and, though she has no overarching theory of it, Batia’s easy (or, if she wishes, jarring) cadence comes from an instinctive attention to words. As an author, Batia is less concerned with construction and diction than she is with the ebb and flow of a piece. “If it doesn’t sound right on the ear, it’s not working,” she says. “Poetry is meant to sing. It’s music for your mind.”
Batia’s poem Sunday renders late-capitalist modernity – and our lives in it – as tedious and grasping, evoking the sobering come-downs that follow the brief, hopeful (futile? desperate?) escapes we all ache for. Like most of Batia’s work, Sunday speaks of a frustrated pursuit of happiness and the futility (or unavoidability) of searching for fulfilment through recklessness and hedonism. Sunday is disillusioned, asking “is there nothing more to life than this?” – this plight of routine and the concealed desperation for exile and escape in a society which favours structure over freedom. Sunday tries to leave the reader feeling uneasy and isolated, and arrives at the disappointment which hides behind every elevation and ecstasy – it’s the promise that nothing good lasts forever.